Thirty-six pit bulls ranging in ages from one week to seven years have been seized in Wyandanch, New York; authorities called the breeding operation as well as the conditions where the dogs lived, as “obscenely vicious.” More than half of the dogs rescued were puppies.
According to the Long Island News, the pit bulls were being trained and tortured for dog fighting rings. In September, the Suffolk police and the ASPCA removed dozens of dogs from two homes. On Thursday it was announced “Operation Bloodline” brought down the operation being run under the guise of a kennel. At a news conference, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman stated:
“Dogfighting is an obscenely vicious and cruel form of animal abuse that tortures animals and endangers the safety of the public. It’s barbaric, despicable, and illegal.”
As for the dogs, two had to be euthanized after they had been attacked by their mother. A third dog named Sophie had been so abused and tortured, no one could get near her and she had been a threat to anyone who tried to approach her. The dogs had all been chained and separated; none had any food or water and the ones suffering from bite wounds and other injuries had been left untreated. One of the dogs had a broken leg and another was emaciated. All of the dogs were covered in fleas, were filthy and had long nails – signs of having lived solitary lives and rarely off their chains.
Arrested were Richard Davis, 34, Martin Newkirk, 49, and Taikeem Wheeler, 26 for operating kennels out of their homes that were staging areas for dog fighting rings. Police also recovered dog fighting paraphernalia including breaking sticks to separate the dogs while fighting, heavy chains, weighted dog vests, treadmills and performance enhancing dietary supplements for the dogs, designed to increase strength and endurance as dog fighters. The three face felony charges of animal fighting and animal cruelty.
The attorney for Wheeler denied all of the charges and stated the dogs were all personal pets including the dog Sophie who had been euthanized. All of the surviving dogs are currently in the care of the ASPCA, and it is hoped once they are healed, the dogs can be retrained and adopted.
Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states. In New York, each charge can carry a maximum penalty of four years in jail and a fine of $25,000.
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(Photos for obscenely vicious dog fighting ring busted via the NY Attorney General’s Office)
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