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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Linda Pannell

Thank you ASPCA for the hard work you have done, in stopping the Dog Fighting. In my opinion, 1 year in Prison just isn't enough time to teach these people a lesson. This is animal cruelty. They might as well be beating these loveable dogs, which I know they are, under normal situations. I applaude all the hard work you are doing to keep them safe. Infact, I truely believe the owners of these dogs should be in prison, and beaten to death!!! I believe punishment should fit the crime. Thank you, Linda C Pannell


I mean why would people do this to innocent animals. The people that did that should be tortured, die and rot in hell. I feel really strongly about animal abuse and we want it to stop. Even though animals don't have voices they should get help that why I love the ASPCA and people who save the animals. I am a animal lover and will always be. Thanks ASPCA for saving the dogs.


"tortured, die & rot in hell" - that sounds like what these animal abusers did - if you want to heal an abused dogs you let them know that they are loved & secure - if want to heal an abused human you let them know they are loved & secure - love heals - vengeance is for the weak - searay

Pat B

to people reading this, go to to see story. A kitten in Erie, PA was brutally tortured by a group of kids. kicked, tossed high into the air and hitting cement. He had a punctured lung, sprained back and brain damage. No arrests. We have started a petition to the President to get these laws changed for all animal abusers. It has gone across the country because of sharing. Please take the time to go there and sign to stop all abuse and let little Wyatt's tiny cries be heard. Thank You


nice job deleting comments compassion/rehab for dogs & humans - it is proof that your organization is mainly interested in stirring up hatred so that you can motivate people to donate - love heals dogs that have been fought & love heals humans that fight them - you can't delete the truth - love heals all - searay


What in the world, those poor little puppies! I'll never understand how people could be so mean to one of God's beautiful creatures.

Susy Mendez

Thank you ASPCA for all your hard work to protect animals!

Luci Pugh

Glad dogs were rescued and not be destroyed. Thank you all. Hope the the people involved are prosecuted to the max when found guilty and serve as an example for behavior not excepted in the USA.


Let us all return to the protection of our neighbour. If our neighbor is threatened, then we take out the threat. Dogs are mans best friend and closest neighbor. If you know someone who sponsors a dog fight, KILL THEM immediately. I urge you to do it. Your contribution to a safe society for animals won't be forgotten.


Just wanted to put to respond to anyone who thought these rescued dogs were immediately sent to a "kill" shelter. First, all dogs have to be medically evaluated and treated as they are "evidence" of a possible crime. Then they will be evaluated behaviorally to see what type of future home they will be able to go to.