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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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Mary connolly p

We think alike,and share the same last name. Good karma

Debra DeSantos

It should count how they turned dogs into dog fight ring and treat them badly 5 to 10 years is not enough how many dogs they hurt it count more and many more years in prison

K L Gates

When someone is found to have harmed and/or killed other people, the sentence handed down is frequently in the form of punishment for each count and each victim counts. My opinion? get tried-and sentenced-for each victim/dog that was forced to fight for the perpetrators' "enjoyment" and profit. There were 100 victims, I believe? That would be a LOT of 5-year sentences.

Felicia Gomez

Every single person involved in the raid(s) gets my full gratitudeans prayers! Y'all are so amazing and have truly changed those poor dogs life for the best! I'm sure they are receive the absolute most love they possibly can! It breaks my heart to think that people would be so cruel as to watch dogs fight for "fun"! I agree with almost everyone here that 5 years and a $250,000 fine is not nearly enough to counter react the pain and suffering those animals went through!! Thanks again to all of you who helped saved those lives! Y'all are beyond incredible!

Rachel heinzen

Disgusting. Thank you for rescuing these poor babies. At least we are looking at some consequences for theses awful people. God bless you all for your efforts and lets hope these pukes sit in prison for awhile.


I think they should receive a charge for EACH animal that they were using in this.

Nancy Johnson

I raise my voice to join the others in thanking you for everything that you do, but especially for breaking up this dog-fighting ring and saving the dogs. I'm one of those who believes that the punishiment should fit the crime--how I wish it could. I think the punishment is harsh enough, but it's better than it was years ago and millions more people are aware of the cruelty these bastards are responsible for. God bless those pups.


Thank you for always standing up for these innocent victims. You are amazing !! I hope you know what a huge difference you make, not only in the lives of these beautiful creatures, but in sending the message to those who don't seem to understand, that animal abuse is unacceptable....always !!!! Thank you, thank you!


Fry the bastards , anyone that causes that much misery deserves to die.
When is enough, enough . I hope the person who has the missing dogs finds them


THANK YOU TO THE SPCA & rescuers! I really am furious over this story & disappointed that these criminals/murderers will only get 5 years. That's absurd! It's no wonder people continue to abuse animals b/c they can, there's no real punishment for their actions. Look at Michael Vick .. he's now able to open up an organization for dogs that were used in fighting. What in the helL?