Last week a judge sentenced Sanchez to one to three years for animal fighting, one year for animal cruelty and one year for criminal possession of a weapon. (Sanchez will serve these sentences concurrently.)
He’s also been slapped with a ban on keeping animals for the duration of his parole. Sanchez waived his right to appeal.
We hope Sanchez’s sentence serves as a reminder to dog fighters that their crimes against innocent animals carry serious consequences.
Our Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agents enforce animal cruelty laws throughout New York City, putting their lives on the line every day to ensure the protection and welfare of animals. So when a humane law enforcement officer in another city is harmed in the line of duty, it hits home for us, and we take it very seriously.
Last month, Sacramento County Animal Control Officer Roy Marcum was killed in the line of duty. In the wake of that tragedy, we have stepped up our commitment to provide funding for animal organizations to purchase bulletproof vests for officers who need them.
Last month, we provided an $8,500 grant to the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control to purchase vests for its officers. These vests are the same ones worn by our own HLE Agents.
Needless to say, we are grateful to all hardworking humane law enforcement officers throughout the country, and we’re glad to play a role in helping protect those who help protect animals.
On the heels of last week’s guilty plea by Raul Sanchez for his involvement in a Bronx-based dog fighting operation, we are thrilled to report that many of the dogs are thriving in their new lives as beloved pets.
Mona now lives with two loving pet parents in a spacious house overlooking 50 mountainside acres, where she takes frequent hikes with her new dog sister, Zelda. Her other favorite activities include snuggling with Zelda by the fireplace and lounging on the couch with her new pet parents.
Mona Lisa’s journey to adoption wasn’t easy. After her rescue, she was transferred to one of our partner shelters, The Animal Support Project, Inc. (TASP) in Cropseyville, New York.
“When Mona arrived at the shelter, she cried and whined like a hyena and was extremely anxious, usually sitting pitifully at the kennel door,” says Melinda Plasse of TASP. But after plenty of attention, care and time to recover, Mona made great progress. “She is outgoing,” Melinda reports, “loves belly rubs, and is kind as can be to children and other animals.”
When we picture Mona Lisa romping around in the woods with her new family, we can’t help but smile. We’re working to make sure that animals nationwide won’t continue to suffer due to the cruel practice of animal fighting. Last week, legislators reintroduced the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would make attending an organized animal fight a federal offense and would impose additional penalties for bringing a minor to an animal fight.
We want to thank Rachael Ray for her generous gift that allowed us to launch the facility, and to thank the many animal welfare organizations from near and far who helped us run this operation.
We also want to take a moment to thank all of our supporters. Without you, we couldn’t have helped any of the families whose pets we boarded after Sandy—nor could we have helped the thousands of others who benefited from our other Sandy relief programs like search-and-rescue and food distribution.
We invite you to watch this video and remember that our work is sponsored by your generosity and kindness!
Tonight, hundreds of animals who were once boarded with us are now sleeping near their loved ones once again.
Our boarding facility also housed stray animals found in disaster areas in the wake of Sandy. Those who weren’t claimed after exhaustive efforts to find their families are getting happy endings, too: All were transferred to either our Adoption Center or our rescue partners for adoption, and some have already found loving homes.
From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you, ASPCA supporters! We’re committed to staying ready to respond to any natural disaster at a moment’s notice, and we’re so glad you’re in our corner.
Sanchez, who harbored 50 dogs in a Bronx apartment building basement, was arrested in June and indicted in July on multiple charges related to animal fighting, aggravated cruelty to animals, and possession of a weapon. He faces one to three years in prison. If granted parole, Sanchez would be prohibited from owning animals during the length of his parole. He could also face deportation to his native Cuba after his sentence is served.
We’re working nonstop to combat the cruel practice of animal fighting nationwide, and we’re making progress. Earlier this week, legislators reintroduced the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and would impose additional penalties for bringing a minor to an animal fight.