In May, the ASPCA assisted in the rescue, removal and sheltering of more than 550 birds from properties associated with cockfighting in Virginia. Five people charged in conjunction with the case have now received sentencing, and today we have an update on their status.
On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Kentucky man Walter Stumbo, 51, to 18 months in prison. His wife, Sonya Stumbo, 51, and their son, Joshua Stumbo, 33, each received ten months. Sonya Stumbo was convicted at trial and the other two pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including possession of an animal for use in animal fighting.
In addition, Wesley Robinson, 57, and his son Jonathan Robinson, 33, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to operate an illegal gambling enterprise and illegally conducting cockfights; one count of transporting fighting roosters across state lines; one count of transporting bird fighting knives across state lines; and one count of illegally distributing oxycodone.
On August 27, Wesley Robinson was sentenced to six months in prison. On October 8, Jonathan Robinson was sentenced to join his father in prison for a sentence of one year and one day.
“The cruel and inhumane practice of cockfighting has no place in civilized society and is against federal law,” U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said in a written statement. “We will vigorously investigate and prosecute individuals who attend, facilitate, or profit from the misery inflicted on animals during these barbaric fights.”
In the aftermath of the raid, the ASPCA has learned more about the illegal cockfighting operation. Known as the “Big Blue” Cock Fighting Pit, the enterprise in McDowell, Kentucky, featured arena-style seating, multiple fighting pits and a restaurant. The Robinsons reportedly brought the birds from Wise County, Virginia, to Big Blue on weekends, and spectators allegedly travelled from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, and other states to attend fights at Big Blue.
“Big Blue” had approximately 5,000 members. Entrance fees ranged from $250 to $2,500, and over $90,000 in cash was seized at the Stumbos' home.
As you can probably guess, we’re pretty big on shelter dogs. That’s why we’re thrilled that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month (ASDM)!
Join us, along with co-hosts The Dodo (@dodo) and Domo (@domo), on Wednesday, October 15 from 7:00-8:00 P.M. EST to celebrate all things shelter dog during our ASDM Twitter Party and Giveaway!
This fun trivia contest will focus on famous dogs from pop culture (think Lassie and Rin Tin Tin) and we’ll be giving away prize packs every six minutes with a grand prize from Swiffer (@swiffer) and Alex and Ani (@alexandani)!
Don’t forget to RSVP here so you’ll be eligible to win prizes, and follow the hashtag #ASDMparty on Twitter to join the fun. See you there!
On September 18, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team assisted in the rescue of over a dozen dogs from a poorly ventilated mobile home in Madison, Wisconsin. The dogs were found living amongst feces, trash, and rotting food, and many exhibited signs of dehydration and neglect.
After their rescue, the dogs were transported to a temporary shelter established by the ASPCA where they received medical care and behavior assessments. Additionally, ASPCA behaviorists provided enrichment and socialization to reduce stress and improve mental health. Nine of the dogs will now be transferred to Dane County Humane Society in Madison, Wisconsin to be made available for adoption.
“Today is a big step forward for these dogs,” said Jessica Rushin, Senior Partnerships Manager for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We hope the residents of Madison will open up their homes to give these animals a chance to be someone’s pet.”
The remaining dogs will require behavioral rehabilitation for extreme fear and undersocialization. They will be transported to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, New Jersey, where animal behavior experts will provide ongoing treatment to improve their well-being and help them become suitable for adoption. “Our goal is to help these dogs overcome their fears and become ready for the next chapter of their lives,” said Kristen Collins, Director of the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center.
If you are interested in adopting one of the nine dogs at Dane County Humane Society, visit www.giveshelter.org/adopt for more information.
Meet sweet pups Caitlyn and Dermott! These best buddies, who would like to be adopted together, came to the ASPCA as part of a cruelty investigation. They’ve come a long way since their rescue and now they’re looking for a patient and caring forever family.
This playful pair is shy at first and may need a little extra space as they warm up to their new home—but with time and a lot of love, there’s nothing these two would love more than to curl up on the couch by your side! These two play well with other dogs and could even make a few canine buddies or become great friends to your resident dog.
Although Dermott is blind, we think that makes him even more special! He has adjusted very well to his condition, especially with the help of pal Caitlyn, and our Adoptions team is available to walk you through the best ways to manage his needs. We know adopting pets with special needs can be a financial commitment and time investment, but these loving pups will bring so much joy in return. Adopt Caitlyn and Dermott today!
Caitlyn and Dermott are available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting, please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about these best friends, please visit Caitlyn and Dermott’s profile pages.