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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Diana Gerace

This is so sad and pathetic !! Those poor dogs.....the people responsible should be locked up for a long long time !!! Thank God they are saved....


Thank God for the ASPCA and their continued efforts to stop dog fighting. The US gov't needs to make a stand and enforce harsh penalties for these cruel activities and the suffering of animals. Michael Vick was a good example of the law enforced, with lenient penalties. Thank You to all who protect and save these and other animals every day. I salute you.


Now lets see how many the ASPCA has euthanized. Its what they do after all.


They rescue them from these dog fighters but I bet anything they will get put down at the shelter. They fought, got rescued and then most liketly will die at the shelters. The dogs didn't win.


Unfortunately this is too true. The younger animals which are friendly may find homes but you have to remember these dogs have been trained to do nothing but rip other animals apart. Rehoming that kind of dog would cause so many problems, you would have to be so strict on new owners to make sure their new dog didn't end up killing their neighbours pets, it just wouldn't be feasible.

The animals were saved from a lifetime of pain and torture, that is better than nothing. (I still don't think it's enough)


Its an unfortunate fact of life that many of these dogs may be too far gone to rehabilitate and will have to be euthanized. After working in a shelter for several years I've have had to come to terms with this reality even though I hate the idea. Still euthanasia would be far better for these dogs than dying a long painful dead in the dog fighting ring!

Mickey R

I am very disturbed with the Aspca's trigger finger. I very much appreciate all that you do but there have been quite a few incidences of dogs being euthanized to quickly. Does a certain Rottweiler come to mind? Please increase efforts to aid the ACC so less dogs are killed as opposed to the other way around.

Nina McNew

Thank you for rescuing these poor animals. God bless you all. Hopefully the people behind this inhumane treatment of innocent animals will be punished to the full extreme.

Debbie Schultheis

God Bless You for saving those poor babies Thank You :)

Colleen Baird

Thank you for finding this horrible dog fighting basement. I can only wish that all the humans involved in this terrible form of entertainment and money making event will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I hope everyone is caught and that karma comes back in double the pain. Fighting animals is horrible, dogs are man's best friends... Thank you ASPCA