Mother Nature wasn’t on our side when she sent a deadly blizzard to hammer Kansas and Missouri earlier this week. The heavy snow snapped tree branches and left more than 100,000 Midwesterners without power. At least two deaths were blamed on the off-season storm.
“The weather certainly wasn’t ideal, but we weren’t about to give up on these dogs,” reports Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA Field Investigations & Response team. “It’s our job to provide these animals with the best possible care, and our responders are trained to handle obstacles as they arise.”
The dogs were rescued after search warrants were executed by the FBI in Kansas,Missouri and Texas. The animals were found outside in freezing temperatures.
For more information about this unfolding case, please stay tuned to aspcarescue.org.
We’re still on the ground helping care for the canine victims rescued during a multi-state dog fighting bust that occurred in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. The ASPCA Field Investigations & Response team managed the removal and transport of nearly 100 dogs on Saturday and Sunday, during a spring snowstorm that made the rescue even more difficult for both the victims and responders.
What happens during a large-scale raid like the one that went down this weekend? Read Anatomy of a Raid for all the details. And stay tuned to aspcarescue.org for more information and photos from this unfolding case.
The ASPCA is currently on the ground in multiple states assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the United States Attorney’s Office in a federal dog fighting raid spanning Texas, Missouri and Kansas. Nearly 100 dogs have been transported to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they are receiving veterinary care.
A search warrant was executed Saturday night in Kansas, after the FBI raided a contract dog fight in north Texas. Two additional warrants were served Sunday morning for the removal of the dogs in Missouri.
In June, we told you about a dog fighting bust the ASPCA and New York Police Department conducted in the Bronx. Today, we’re happy to share some good news: 26 of the dogs have found placements with rescue groups, and another seven of them have placements in the works! We’re hoping continued rehabilitation and forever homes are just around the corner.
Partners that have embraced these canine survivors include St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey; Charles Henderson Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, New York; Columbia Greene Humane Society in Hudson, New York, and Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire in Bedford. Some dogs have also been transferred to the ASPCA’s Adoption Center in Manhattan.
These dogs’ lives are already so different from the ones they led just a few short months ago. On June 21, we found them living in the windowless basement of a six-story apartment building with a makeshift fighting arena.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.
For more than two months, ASPCA responders cared for and provided the dogs with extensive socialization, a healthy diet, medical care and exercise at a temporary shelter. Each dog was carefully evaluated by a team of animal behavior professionals prior to being transferred to the rescue groups.
While the majority of the dogs in this case may be rehabilitated, some were far too dangerous for placement. These dogs were victims of the brutalities of dog fighting—bred over generations to exhibit aggression, trained to fight with lethal intent, subjected to a life of inhumane treatment and, as a result, displayed highly aggressive behavior. After extensive evaluations, all decisions to euthanize were based on recommendations of multiple behavior professionals who weighed in objectively and independently, with the best interest of each individual animal in mind.
The dogs’ owner, Raul Sanchez of the Bronx, was arrested during the raid and arraigned on 63 counts of animal fighting, six counts of aggravated animal cruelty, six counts of animal cruelty, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to four years in jail.
The ASPCA’s Legal Advocacy team is providing support to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in this case.
It’s about time! William Roman pleaded guilty to four felony counts of animal fighting and baiting stemming from one of the largest cockfighting cases in Florida’s history. Back in September 2010, the ASPCA assisted in forensic evidence collection and removal of more than 650 fighting birds from two properties in Lee County.
William Roman and Pedro Lopez, were arrested and charged with multiple counts of animal fighting and baiting, housing distressed animals, and animal cruelty. Lopez was also charged with drug possession. A trial date for Lopez has not been scheduled.
Roman was sentenced to six months in state prison, three years of probation and 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay court costs and cost of prosecution and, as part of the probation, to have no contact with animals for three years.
"These animals were exploited to breed and fight each other to the death," says Adam Leath, the ASPCA’s newly appointed Southeast Director of Field Investigations and Response. "We hope to continue our work in investigating these types of cases to rid the nation of this cruel sport."