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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Jaime Perez

I'm so happy for these precious dogs. I hope they all find their forever homes with loving parents. But I don't think the punishment was enough! These scum bags should face a firing squad! They obviously have no compassion for anything except making a buck. May they rot in hell. God bless all those who had a hand in rescuing these dogs.

Lorayne 'Stoll

It is not only the inhuman that hold these events but I think they should get more then what they are getting, but we need to find away to do something about the people that go to watch this because they are just as guilty. They have to be finded big time also or they will just start one of these horrific blood baths with our very loveing animals. I wish I had a answer as what to do. I would give my life if it would stop this terrible terrible thing.


Those men deserve more than 5 years AND a bigger fine. While they are locked up, why don't we put them in chains the whole time they are in there. What they did to those dogs need to be done to them. I love animals. I also have a PIT myself. She is the most LOVEABLE and well manner dog that I have ever had and I have had many, many animals. PITS RULES AND SOME HUMANS DON'T !!!!!!!!!!!


They should get a death penalty for all the horrible deaths they have caused to innocent helpless creatures.


Thank you, I feel great that I'm helping a great organization. Now, for this people abusing this poor creatures , 5 yrs is nothing, they should be put away for at least 10 yrs or more.


Thank you for the wonderful work you to do protect these animals from a horrible fate. May your lives be blessed and filled with happiness. :)

Lora Elstad

While my sentiment lies close with those who have expressed their outrage violently toward those charged, I have a conundrum. They were charged with the transport of the dogs, not for setting up the fights or doing the violence upon them. If it is an eye 4 an eye, what punishment would fit transport crime only? We can't force them to drive around all day til exhausted, so jail time it is. As it greatly contributes to facilitating the fighting, I believe the time given should have been greater to discourage even what seems to be a passive participation in these heinous crimes. Most of these sops don't have any money which is why they took these gigs to begin with, so fines will get us nowhere. Except in the case of the actual organizers, who may have some funds. I also believe in using whatever methods are necessary to get info up the food chain from these bottom feeders by getting the names of those who hired them and keep on moving up the line til we reach the top. The real punishments belong to the orchestrators and those in the rings directing the madness violently. They are the ones who deserve the same punishments they caused directly or by being those that set it all in motion.


I second that motion...I enjoy mma but those guys want to be there, thats what they do...but to serve equal justice...may the punishment match the crime. I would be happy to be the duct tapper so all the bait boys and girls have no chance to defend them
selves, beat them, starve them, put an enormous tire chain on their neck so they cant hold their head up. The sadness is my whole life I have loved and done everything I could to protect and save animals. I have seen sooooo much hate and unbelievable stories of neglect and abuse...Honestly not only could I serve up some of that equal justice...but I just may enjoy it as well...and that scares the h e double hockey sticks out of me...

I agree with all of the comments made. Some of you have some workable ideas...5 years for EACH fighting dog plus 10 years for EACH dead dog would be a deterent. Getting millions of dollars out of these people is unrealistic...$250,000 is more realistic. ALL OF YOU can have a hand in changing the existing laws. People like Michael Vick should never have been allowed back into the NFL. Shame on our complacent society that allowed it. I am challenging every person who has written a comment to contact your individual State Lobbyists, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and any other elected officials you can think of and demand realistic changes to the laws. Demand harsher punishments for these crimes against all animals. If we start voting our consciences and demand our elected officials listen to us we can affect immeasurable changes and get the harsher punishments in place. You have to get vocal with the right people and you have to do it continuously. Blogs, Facebook, newspapers, emails, phone calls...use all of these methods to get your voices heard. I have been doing this for 15+ years and it does work. We need to stop bitching to each other and we need to start screaming at the top of our lungs to make our voices heard in defense of all animal cruelty victims!

Mary connolly Pachas

You are absolutely right. Now that all 50 states can charge aggregious animal cruelty as a felony,there is a basis for further action.We have to DEMAND,and keep it up.prosecutors,law enforcement,and law makers have to know that voters and citizens will not tolerate this.

All rights movements have used civic action to gain their goals.Political action is the way to go.