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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Donna Zirkle

It seems to me that the human aspect of dog fighting has been ignored.The ASPCA was founded to protect humans who were abused.History tells us that animal abusers often graduate to abusing humans.There was and is a severe and dangerous precident to consider.whether you love animals or not does not matter.(I am a pit bull parent).We need to think long and hard about the risks these people pose to the public.Long prison terms and large fines are merely a start.The government wastes our money everyday.These abusers need to be handled appropriately for their lifetime.The life of an animal may be saved and moe importantly the life of a fellow human may be spared as well

Gussie Baker

I hope they get the maximum sentence allowed by law....

Bill Edelman

Hallelujah! Put these perverted clowns behind bars forever.


let the punishment fit the crime...sentence these humans to be the target of a dog fight...

jeanne lyon

My heart bleeds whenever I read of these terrible acts of dog fighting and know how much pain an suffering they cause. However, our society which seems to forgive these terrible acts with minimal fines and jail sentences, also must change and not forgive these monsters who fight dogs (or any animals for that matter). See Michael Vick's return to NFL glory as evidence that we don't take this seriously enough. As a very public example he should have been shunned from society and banned from professional sports for his former acts for life.


These men are not fit to live, if they can do this to helpless animals how far off are they from abusing children...not a very far leap. I believe in an eye for an eye. I agree with the person who suggested placing them outside in a blizzard with little or no protection tied up by chains. I also agree with the idea that they get punished for each dog hurt, say 5 to 10 years for each dog depending on the injuries or if death occured. How do we start a petition to get this law changed...because only when the punishment gets greater will this horrific so called sport be a real crime.
I too hope that these fur babies get a chance at new lives, lives that include treats, long walks in the sun, comfy couches and love, love. love!!!!


should take all people in this fighting ring fight them to the death, then kill the one that lives, they are breathing air that good people can use, they are all worthless to people that are good kind and loves animals, next will be their kids, wives, and elderly family members . kill them all now before this keeps going

Pamela Childs

This is horrific. The punishment certainly does not fit the crime. We need to be stricter with these individuals, as these animals do not have a say and are victimized just like people for various crimes. We do not tolerate that behavior, and sometimes the Death Penalty applys. I believe this should be the case. Many of these animals to not make it and have no chance at a forever home in the future due to the abuse.

Thank you for all of your help. I am one of your biggest supporters.

Helen O'Donoghue

Throw the book at them and put a chain around their cell to live outside in all types of weather and to survive on their own for food.

Carolann Roberts

As I write this with tiers in my eyes for tne joy of these wonderful animals safety but also for the disappointment of not enough punishment for the guilty people. I have been a supporter for years and commend all at ASPCA, for all they do. These people should get much more time, keep them out of society.