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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Marty Gorelick

The ASPCA is a true hero. Each and everyone of your entire team have earned a future place in heaven. G-D rewards kindness. May all the animals rejoyce that "THEY ARE FREE AT LAST".

Lacy King

I am so thankful for the ASPCA and their tireless efforts! Thank you 100 times, one for each of the innocent souls saved. While I agree with many of the comments here, I also do not believe any amount of jail time or fine can change a person within by itself. There must be shaming techniques involved. Put these criminals in a room of animal advocates weekly and make them sit there all day to hear the voices of those who care. Training in Kingian non-violence is also something else prison programs should implement. Possibly working with dogs and inmates regularly as well, providing essential lessons in humane education. Unless they learn the power of unconditional LOVE, and understand the interconnection of the human-animal bond, nothing will stop this viscous cycle. While it is hard to work alongside these twisted people, I truly believe that is what it will take to truly sustain change for these beautiful creatures! Thank you ASPCA. When I am done with school I only hope to be so lucky to work for an organization that is making such a difference!

Susan Reilly

I'm very happy to see law enforcement coming down hard on this fighting ring! Here on Long Island (NY) we know that dog fighting is going on and law enforcement is lax. We are watching a local case very closely where 23 dogs (known as "The Shirley 23") were found that appear to be fighting/bait dogs, in fact it was pretty obvious. Our local SPCA did the raid BUT they not indemnified which means the individual officers can be sued so they shy away from getting involved with the prosecution of abuse cases. Our rescue (RSVP Inc Animal Welfare & Rescue Group) is putting the pressure on our court system to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. The "owner" was only charged with misdemeanors Residents of the TX, MO and KS must make their voices heard so that maximum penalties are enforced!


The saddest part? All too often these terribly abused dogs pay the ultimate price and given the death sentence. The "human" pieces of crap responsible for the abuse? They MIGHT face a fine and as much as 5 years in prison, but all TOO often they're allowed to get off with nothing more then a few days in jail and a minor slap on the wrist. When innocent animals are euthanized for nothing more then doing the bidding of their sick, perverted owners...those owners should be required to pay the same price as the dogs they abused! Fines and a little jail time will NEVER be enough of a deterrent to stop this kind of abuse!


I just want to say thank you for all your hard work and please continue to disban dog fighting and cruelty to animals.


Thank you ASPCA for the success in rescuing these innocent animals that can't speak for themselves. They need voices like ours to support them and fight for them. Finally it's good to see follow through and justice for those evil hearted people. My thoughts and prayers to the parents of the missing dogs and my hope is all the dogs find safe and loving homes and are well nursed emotionally and physically back to health!

Carolyn Balakas

These men that were caught running these vicious, inhumane fights should be punished a lot more than just $ 250,000.00 and five years in jail. Give me five minutes with them and a baseball bat and a couple of the dogs they abused and I bet they wouldn't run fights again. The law is too soft on these people that find hurting animals is funny, it is time they got a taste of their own medicine.!!!

Lynda Augustine

I'm so thankful this dog fighting ring was raided and that the dogs were removed. I'm hoping that the people involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent the laws allow and that their behavior regarding acquiring animals in the future will be monitored. They lost the right to be pet owners, and I am so grateful there are those who care enough to go into the ditches to save these animals from the horrible lives they're forced to live.


throw the book at these a** holes they are not wanted in society and are just useless. dog fighting is no good as these a-holes are for doing this to these wonderful dogs.


Laws have GOT to get tougher! Jail Time, Fines, suspension of a drivers licenses, repossession of personal property, as it was likely bought by ill gotten gains as a result of the dog fighting. Take cars, property, etc. Just like they do with drug dealers.