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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I'm not sure who sets that stuff - it's it a house committee, a Senate committee, a panel of federal judges? I'd like to see a targeted campaign to greatly increase the sentencing minimums for animal cruelty, dogfighting in particular. This type of sadistic torture calls for way more than 5 years.

Hey, ASPCA - Can you take this on, along with the other great things you're doing about these evil monsters?


Thank you for your hard work, can someone as well focus on the state of Florida, dog fighting is common in This state, Miami, Tampa are famous for those fights but nothing is being done by police nor ASPCA.


Great job getting these dogs in a nurturing environment and showing them that not all people are monsters!

Tami Green

To each and every person involved in bringing down the dog fighting rings and involved in the care of these poor animals- I Thank you! Without you being physically involved, these poor animals would continue suffering. I truly hope that justice will be served and stricter laws put in place against abuse. Have heard of a dog fighting ring in Macon County Illinois- I hope this will be your next mission, as these individuals are stealing peoples' pets out of their yards and using them as training bait. Please look into it.

Diane barrows

I just want to say thank you for all the hard work and love you give in helping abused animals. I joined ASPCA awhile ago and it makes me happy to see the wonderful work you are doing and that I can have a small part in making it happen.

jane hyden

pls someone do this in detroit...its awful what they do here...problem is when they get busted one place they just move to another abandoned house.and there are lots of them in detroit. i just hate animal, elderly, kids abusers

Grace Clark

Thank YOU for all you do. I donate regularly and am a Guardian Donor. But YOU do all the work. Those little guys need you, they need us. The can't speak for themselves. Federal Prison should be the standard penalty......but ONLY 5 years?? How about 10 to 15??? With 12 mandatorily done, no 'good behavior' releases.

thank YOU again from the bottom of our hearts.

jane hyden

im 65 w health issues..that is why i couldnt keep the dog i rescued from the west side...sitting on a porch.her ribs were sticking out etc..i just took her..i asked them was it their her to vet and got shots etc, fattened her up to her right weight and named her bella. so wish icould have keep her but she was far too strong to manage with the metal in my back and neck. oh how i wish i had her...she was the sweetest dog!!! 6 lb yorkie is a really good boy and i dont know what i would do without him.all dogs go to heaven!!!!!!!!

LoveYour DNA

Animal abusers can become worse than that. It's a fact!

Barbara Van Tuyl

Thank you for your tireless work. Is it possible to do anything to help ensure that the penalties against these people are more toward the maximum allowed than just a token slap? SEVERAL 5 year prison terms and $200,000 - $250,000 fines would send a message and catch the attention of the fighting dog people I think.