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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Gerianne Andrian

I contribute every month and appreciate the work and efforts you all do. As President of our local Humane Society, my goal is to adopt out and find loving homes to unwanted, unloved animals. There should be harsh punishments for people convicted of dog fighting. These animals did dnot deserve this. There punishment will come from a higher source one day. Bless you all for all you do to save and rescue so many animals in need

JoAnn Schmidt

Fantastic work ASPCA! No effort is too great to stop this cruel and heartless debacle from ever happening again!

Louise Cook

Not 5 years, 10 at least, the life of a dog they have doomed to a horrible life. $250,000, not enough to pay for all the money that ASPCA is going to have to spend to bring these animals to a healthy condition, the socializing, the food, etc. These people should pay with time in jail (hopefully experiencing some of what they made these animals experience) and with every dime they made off these poor animals plus.

Louise Cook

I forgot to thank the ASPCA. Great job rescuing and caring for these mistreated animals. Great job. There is a place in heaven for you and a place in Hell for those animal abusers.

Joyce Wells

These people need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Or better yet put them in a cage together to fight to the death of one. Winner goes on to next round. Then we will have only 1 left to prosecute. God bless people who fight for these poor animals.

Krista Pearson

I cannot understand how someone could do this? All any dog wants is to be loved, fed, and played with. They love us unconditionally...they don't care if you are short, fat, skinny, tall, white, black, or if you are purple with green polka dots! My family and I decided a year ago to add a dog to our family. We knew we didn't want a tiny dog and that we didn't want a huge dog. We looked around for a while and then we found that we absolutely fell in love with. He just happens to be a Pit Bull. He has been a part of our family for about 11 1/2 months and we can't imagine not having him as part of our family. He is such a snuggle bug and a lover. We love our dog and would never do anything ever to put him in harm's way.

sharon simmons

why not do the same to the offenders. five yrs. not enough.ruin their lifes like they did the dogs. give them life.


We need laws that punish everyone involved in the horror of dog fighting: the spectators, suppliers of equipment, the owners/rentors of the real estate where the fights take place (regardless of their knowledge of it). If all of these people are seriously fined, have to spend time in jail, have their pictures printed in the papers and on the Internet, AND do community service, maybe there will be a change.


Thank God these dogs were rescued! It makes me sick to know there are losers out there who would do this! I would like to chain them up & make them sit in the cold weather to see how the poor dogs felt. I agree, five years is not enough.


we should all contact the judges that are handling these cases to encourage them to place the stiffest penalties---it is good that the judges hear from the public. Have any charges actually been filed in the courts---and if so does anyone know who the assigned judges are?