ASPCA Rescues 50 Dogs in Bronx Dog Fighting Case

Friday, June 22, 2012 - 12:30pm

Nearly 50 dogs, ranging in age from 12 weeks to five years, were found yesterday living in the windowless basement of a six-story apartment building in the Bronx. The space, which served as a makeshift dog fighting arena, was littered with crude wooden cages and had the capacity for roughly 100 spectators. Raul Sanchez, the building’s superintendant, was taken into custody and charged with animal fighting, a felony.

Working closely with the NYPD Vice Enforcement Division and the Bronx District Attorney's Office, our team played a critical role in the rescue of the dogs, forensic evidence collection and on-scene documentation.

Also discovered on scene were a loaded .25-caliber handgun, U.S. currency, and other equipment associated with dog fighting—including dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

"Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture," says Howard Lawrence, Senior Director of Operations for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement. "The dogs we saw today exhibited scarring and injuries consistent with fighting dogs. We’re determined to protect New York City's animals from this form of cruelty."

The dogs, many of whom showed scars from fighting, were transported to a temporary shelter for further evaluation by our emergency response medical team. The ASPCA will continue to provide legal support to the Bronx District Attorney's Office to help prosecute the case.

The investigation is ongoing.

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I am so glad these dogs were rescued and I hope they all eventually find good homes. I also hope, however, that the court sends the persons responsible for this to prison for a very long time. That is where the animal abuse legal system fails. The courts. Judges fail to do their jobs and refuse to sentence animal abusers to prison. Instead they give them a lollipop on the way out of the courtroom and make them promise "never to get around an animal again." Something no one can enforce.


I am so HAPPY that those poor innocent animals were rescued!!!! THANK YOU to the rescue team and the ASPCA

Jessica Ciccarelli

Thank YOU for rescuing these animals from the horrible torture they endured. I am PROUD to be a member of the ASPCA and thank GOD for you all each day! I hope all these amazing dogs get adopted by LOVING homes that they deserve!!!!!!!


Thank you for rescuing these poor animals.. Can't never uderstand why be so cruel to animals, they should be treated like a human beings because they have feelings too.. I have a pitbull mastiff that was given to me so I can sell him and I decided to keep him because I did not want to put him in the wrong hands.. He is such a friendly and loveable dog..I'm glad I decided to keep him...


I seen and read arcile and it upsets me to no means and I know those were pits and yall wont give them a chance to show they can learn to love and I know it can be done I seen it done. but yall like putin them to death cause of breed well you show do the same to the humas that put them in that place treat them the same as u treat the pits even though the the pits dont deserve it.


As a pit bull owner several times over, I understand the breed very well. They have been bred for fighting for many many years. Do I support the fighting? Of course not. But they were bred to fight and it does take a lot of training to make them well adjusted family pets. As I have said so many times over I am hoping so much that this breed is saved for all of it's amazing qualities and all of the aggression is bred out as it has been with so many other "bully" breeds. I know the ASPCA will do the necessary testing to make sure the dogs that have been taken from this fighting ring are able to be adopted out into family situations. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of people watching this blood sport or enjoying it or making money from it. If you are thinking of adopting a pit bull do your research. Again they require lots of training, can be very challenging, but also very rewarding. Miss you and love you every day Reggie. :)


as always humans prove to show their savage side, and its sickening. I thank you ASPCA for doing all you do, and I ask everyone I know to do something, SAY SOMETHING if they know something, and donate to ASPCA to keep this foundation growing and helping innocent lives that cannot help themselves. I though we were getting past out caveman years...

Pamela Leonard

I just wanted to give my comment on the dog fighting captives. Good Job, Way to Go NYPD - ASPCA team, you all are doing a fantastic job, I wish for you to catch all of the worthless people who have dogs just for this cruel so called sport. These people that have the dogs, should not even have a houseplant.


these kind of people have no love in their hearts just hate and MONEY and they should be the ones PUT DOWN NOT THE DOGS


Not too long ago, I read on Cesar Milan's website his insights about the US issue with far too many dogs and not enough good homes, after going on his international tour. He made a comment about how Germany does not have the same problems we have. After researching why, he found it was because they have extremely strick laws on the Breeders, and thus do not have to focus on owners actions after the fact. Control of how we bring animals into this world. This made complete sense to me and would love to see a movement in this country to put the focus on controling animal breeders of all kinds. Laws in this area could also prevent, allow punishment and shut down of those breeding for dog fighting. I think we need to change our focus in this country to prevention rather than trying to bandage an out of control situation, with so few resources. Thank you for hearing my view.