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 an guardian angel and I know the money I give is not enough to support everything you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Are four legged friends are so much better off having you a caring group to save them, care for them without caring people like you they'd have no chance. So thank you again and I know my money goes for a good cause. I love hearing stories that have a good ending.

Christy Miller

5 years is not enough. Help Ohio pass Nitros Law. It's only a misdemeanor to kill animals here. Ohio animal cruelty laws suck. Pathetic state as far as animal rights r concerned.


On the work done so far: Each paragraph states "up to 5 yrs punishment" OR "up to $250K in fine".
We all know that when the time comes, the judge will make it a lighter sentence and reduce the fine.
1. The dollar amount of the fine is not enough, and the sentence is NOT long enough.
2. Who is setting these minuscule fines??? An animals life and the suffering they've been through is
worth so much more than that.
3. What is being done about the others in the group who may not have been caught and who most
likely have more dogs waiting to fight that haven't been discovered. Are these groups and people
(not caught yet) - - - - being watched for other activity?
4. Think again on how much you fine these people.Make it 4x as much and put that money back into
rehabilitating the dogs.
5. Think again on the years of punishment - make it 7x the years as now.
6. They have tortured and killed dogs. Make them wear chains around their necks everyday. Make
them feel the pain the same as what they did to these defenseless animals. Make them hurt the
same as they did to the dogs.


Thank you! I know dog fighting is pervasive in many areas. I worked as a City Letter Carrier in a small southern Arkansas town, and dog fighting is a way of life for the human scum who participates. I tried relentlessly to get the city, county, and state officials involved, but it was never priority to them. Turn the other cheek was their method of dealing with it. It continues to this day unabated. So very sad.

Billie Close

Thk goodness these MONSTERS who subject these poor creatures to this horrific practice -- both promoters & spectators -- are finally being brought to justice. The laws need to be made much stronger, so that these idiots will truly think twice before getting involved in this, rather than WORKING FOR A LIVING. Sincerely, B. L.. Close


Great news! One dog at a time. One day animal cruelty WILL NOT be accepted and tolerated here! Thannks for all you do ASPCA!

Katy Boelter

The punishment doesn't fit the crime. They deserve so much more along with the people that were there to watch the dog fights also need to be charged with something. We as a society need to make examples out of people that do this sort of things to animals for their own pleasure. Criminals get better treatment in prison then the animals do and we are all worried about peoples right to be treated humanly. What about the animals don't they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.


I know dog fighting is cruel and people should be held accountable for it. Now the dogs will be taken care and then when they get healthy they will euthanize them because nobody wants a dog that has been in fights and no family will take them because they have been trained to attack other dogs. They save them to have to kill them later.

Gary canister

i think its great that there are people in this world that love animals as much as i do and thank everyone who help them out! god knows there are many that need help? And many thanks to the people that help And save them! God bless you all


String up those bastards by their nuts in a blizzard. That seems like a fitting punishment. If that doesn't open their eyes to the evil of their ways, nothing will. We need to start punishing people quickly when it is obvious that they are guilty.