Update: Charges Filed in 3-State Dog Fighting Raid as Dogs Receive Much-Needed Care

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:15pm
Update: Charges Filed in 3-State Dog Fighting Raid as Dogs Receive Much-Needed Care

In late March, the ASPCA played a critical role in a three-state dog fighting raid that resulted in the rescue of nearly 100 animals. A few weeks after this intricately coordinated effort to rescue dogs in Texas, Missouri and Kansas went off without a hitch, we’re able to update you on the dogs and the dog fighters.

The Victims

When we found these dogs, many were doomed to live their whole lives tethered by heavy chains—and on the day of the raid, many were left outside to suffer through a blizzard. Now, says ASPCA Vice President of Field Investigations and Response Tim Rickey, they’re living in an entirely different world.

When the dogs arrived at our temporary shelter, our veterinary professionals, led by the ASPCA’s Dr. Sarah Kirk, examined them quickly and thoroughly. Some dogs needed immediate care, while others require ongoing treatment which they are now receiving from ASPCA and local veterinarians.

An ASPCA behaviorist will be on the ground at the shelter throughout this operation, and while the dogs stay in our clean and spacious shelter, they will benefit from behavioral enrichment programs that incorporate toys, games and lots of fun interactions with people. The dogs will have regular access to one of several large exercise playpens, where they’ll get to play with our responders and burn off excess doggy energy.

“Every day,” Rickey says, “we’re focusing on taking care of these animals and providing the best environment that we can for them.”

The Suspects

The ASPCA continues to work to collect evidence and provide other support to law enforcement, working to ensure dog fighters pay for harming these animal victims. The charges are just starting to roll in:

Last week Pete Davis Jr. and Melvin L. Robinson, both of Kansas City, Kansas, were each charged in federal court with one count of transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture in interstate commerce. If convicted, they face up to five years in federal prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

“The case is not over yet—there’s still a lot of work to be done on the investigation side,” says Rickey, adding that he hopes to see more arrests in relation to this raid.

The ASPCA had been assisting the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies with the planning of this large-scale raid since November 2012. ASPCA Blood Sports Director Terry Mills provided his expertise to help these agencies maximize the operation’s impact. Our next steps: continuing to provide top-notch care for these animals and working with authorities to secure the right to place dogs in loving homes.

If you’ve given to the ASPCA recently, from the bottom of our hearts: thank you. This raid is an enormous undertaking and a huge commitment, but we are dedicated to being there for animal victims of cruelty whenever they need us. If you haven’t yet given lately, please consider doing so today. On behalf of animals across the country, thank you!

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Happy Endings D...

These individuals need stricter consequences. 5 years equates to maybe 2 years off on good behavior. The penalty should be 15 years for each offense. ie how ever many dogs captured live/dead should be multiplied by 15 (years) then they will not be so eager to take a chance on dog fighting. Come on guys we must change "Ownership" or "Property" of dogs to "guardianship". Then dogs and guardians have legal rights for torture to animals.


Thank you for saving those poor angels from the people they had to live with. The sentence and fines are a good start..should be tougher and much more expensive. I believe in an eye for an eye. Good luck to the poor babies. They deserve to be safe.


We need harsher penalties for anyone participating in such cruel activities that victimize the helpless. Let's take the fun out of it for criminals and let them know that we will not tolerate this.

Deb L.

Areested? Great work on your part and anyone else who parcipatated in their arrest...Yet, My heart goes out to the dogs..for all the punishment and torture they have gone through..I feel the parties who do these awful things to animals have no morals or hearts..They have nothing more on their minds then to make money off abusing animals..For this I am very bitter.Arrest and fines are not enough..Jail time,, should be severe..and lenghty...They should also have to take a course of sometime for the rest of their lives...Like AA is...I pray that God punishes them for their heatless torture...Thank you and God for helping and doing your part..God Bless..

Kae Blecha, OTR

I read a great saying once and I'd like to share it with all of you: "Bullies don't stop to count the number of legs on their victims." Abusers of any kind don't have an internal "policeman", so it's up to the rest of us to be a conscience. Thanks to the ASPCA for doing the hard work I couldn't imagine doing (and I'm in health care!)

Susan M

These men that were charged with this horrible crime should be penalized for what they did to these poor dogs. This should be a major crime with the courts. These animals suffered terribly for profit. Our country needs to not only strengthen the laws on animal cruelty but assign jail time and stiffer fines. This cannot be allowed or tolerated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dalia Vernikovsky

It is amazing work that all of you do and should be congratulated.
I pray that someday, the harshest of laws will prevent the kind of cruelty ALL animals face in the hands of humans,- who indeed, do not deserve to breathe with such acts of cruelty. This extends to all races of animals.
Thanks and hope to do more someday..


No amount if money or prison time is enough to punish these cowards. I only hope that when convicted they have fun in the yard with a 7 foot, fellow inmate that is a animal lover. That is fair play if you as me.


5 years and a fine they will never pay? That's nothing. Abuse or neglect of any kind to any animal should be a felony! They should take those chains and hang those scumbags with them. These dogs deserved to be loved, pet, fed well and warm. Make an example of these low-lifes and give them a slow and painful death! And put it on youtube so we can all clap!


Thanks to everyone who help animals the animal control officers, the vets, the volunteers, the people who petition, email, and donate to help STOP ANIMAL ABUSE IN ALL FORMS.