‘Obscenely vicious’ dog fighting ring busted: Abused and tortured dogs saved

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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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27 replies
  1. ellen cottone says:

    I am from Suffolk County NY
    I am grateful for the hard work and kind heart of
    Det. R. Gross and the Suffolk county ASPCA. he has single handidly changed to world for animals in suffolk county.

    I have never served my country as a summons juror.
    I will pray I can survey my state and county in the river head county court and stand up for these animals and against the ugly disgusting 3 muggs who put these animals thru this relentless brutality.
    timing is everything.
    this case is difference then most.
    its all puppies.
    they will not be euthanized, they have not been fight conditioned.
    when this happens in other states
    they quietly euthanized them all.
    gassed, bagged and incinerated ,
    don’t kid your self. this is the secrets fate of all fight kennel dog’shere in the states.
    they are never rehabilitated, they are unmanageable and a danger.
    its the sad truth.
    this is the first time I have Ever heard of this commitment to save and adopt out.
    I am proud of my county and my state.
    just watch any Texas animal rescue.

    here they will all get a home.
    they have put down

    this is truly, what fight kennel “rescue ”

    here on long island

    • carrie ainsley says:

      Ellen it has changed since the Michael Vick bust brought so much public attention to the problem. Since the “Vicktory” dogs had so much success with rehabbing and rehoming, it is not an automatic death sentence any more. Many rescues are willing and able to get involved.

      • ellen cottone says:

        I get it ladys,
        But logically, mathmatically ? what you wish was the truth is not. You are forgetting, pit bulls are still being The #1 dog being euthinised here in the states (second being the chi). so why would you Think a pack of fight dogs would stand a chance? the reason Why you are being confused is you may only be seeing your example of a higher profile raid with a lot of hype. Nobady messes with these cases, too many of peeps like us bearing whitness and things are done by the book
        but the 1000s of other cases? are done behind closed doors and without advocacy and
        often they are done within a very short time,hours.

      • ellen cottone says:

        carrie, i never said it was an automatic death sentance. and indeed lots have changed, mike vick got only 500 days in jail. Jail sentances are getting longer as laws are being rewritten.
        to day for the first time in my life I have been summond for jury duty in central islip courts, suffolk County New york on nov 3rd,
        maybe i will serve on a jury in a dog fighting case, if so these comments alone will get me thrown out.
        serves me right

    • Pamela Garlisch says:

      You are wrong, other states do not quietly euthanize the animals, maybe some do but others do not, they are rehabilitated the same as Michael Vick’s animals were.

      • ellen cottone says:

        let me remind you that the Mike Vic case was a high profile. eyes of the world were watching.
        those dogs were in demand for a few other reasons other then the normal. the dogs themselves
        became prizes.
        Please do not tell me a hidden kill kennel in south west miami or back wood georgia fight kennel or for that matter any state that chooses to Ban the pit bull because they just refuse to get it
        will or have shown any mercy to these animals. Any of the warmer climate states are so overrun with shelter dogs. do you really think they have the space, time, manpower, brains or compassion? they do not.
        your wishful thinking. do a little reserch on how huston handles the stray dog problem every time a big sporting event rolls into town.

    • Carol says:

      Most of the Michael Vick dogs were adopted out. Only 4 or 5 were euthanized and a few of them lived at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. Since the Vick case many fighting dogs are now given a second chance. Hopefully these dogs will get a chance at a normal life.

      • ellen cottone says:

        I watched a recent texas rescue and they were all put to sleep.
        All of them. many can not be introduced into home life. i get it. yes no one should put an x fight dog down unless they cant be rehabilitated.
        do you really think you are telling me something i dont know? each foiled secreat back wood fight kennel comes down to this,
        1- can they live in a home
        2-can they never be trusted with humans and other animals.
        what happens behind an individual states, “Process” has not always , and today may still not be based on fairness. dont kid your self

  2. Darla says:

    Let’s see – tortured dogs, dog fighting paraphernalia – yep, those are “personal pets” [said with extreme sarcasm]. The POS has an equally POS lawyer.

  3. Helen says:

    New York’s penalty for running a dog fighting ring is insufficient. The damage to these dogs and puppies caused by inhumane treatment by the POS profiteers require a punishment severe enough that they would not dare to engage again in such a barbaric blood thirst sport. I believe 25 years imprisonment is a good start.

    • ellen cottone says:

      could you tell me what state has a greater and more sufficient penalty for running a dog fighting ring?
      I would like to get to know this state and get to know its ways and means better.
      Im intrested in who you think has a handle of this crime against dogs in brutal captivity.
      I am wondering what you are basing your statment on.
      I trust, but I verify.
      I will take this information and I will use the information for good. I assure you.

      • Helen says:

        I don’t believe this country as a whole has adequate punishment and fine for running a dog fighting ring. Many people still believe dogs and puppies are disposable and place no value to these poor animals. Humans created the domestic dog to be loyal, loving, and totally dependent on humans for their survival. Therefore, I believe it’s our responsibility to care for them for life; otherwise stop breeding dogs and let the surviving dogs eventually breed back to wolves.

      • ellen cottone says:

        Then there is still work for us to do helen.
        but i do believe things are changing because we the people speak. i know this senario its self would mean very little 10-20 yrs ago.
        I agree, it is up to us to become so annoying to our leaders that They have to instill laws and penalties.
        But your all or nothing comment about going back to the time of Wolfdom is thought provoling indeed.
        some humans would mess that one up also. but at least wolf against man seems a little more fair.
        but some of us here can still keep our little dogs if we keep it a secreat, Right? (wink)

  4. Adrienne says:

    Four years in jail and a fine?I hope there are more charges with more extensive jail time. These thugs, lowlifes should be in jail for a long time. A disgrace to have this happening under the guise of a kennel. Hope all the pups get adopted and the adult dogs can get trained and re homed. The adult dogs have known nothing but abuse,torture and not one bit of affection. These raids need to be done nation wide in every state since this is an easy way for these monsters to make money off of.

  5. red says:

    DO NOT LET THESE SCUM BAGS or their scum bag attorney get off !! These monsters need to be locked away a minimum of 20 years, $50,000 fine to assist in rehabilitation of the dogs and a life time ban on ever owning or living in the same home as a pet!

  6. Mary Ann Clark says:

    These people should be imprisoned for life which is more mercy than they deserve! They are sadists and have committed crimes against other living beings! I feel they are an extreme danger to society!

  7. Diane Basile says:

    Please make these scumbags suffer they way they made each and everyone of these dogs suffer. These people don’t deserve to ever breathe fresh air again. We are the voice for the voiceless, The ADFC will fight to keep scumbags like this behind bars longer then the max!!!

  8. susispot says:

    Hang the bastards! My heart is broken for the dogs that lost their lives. Such a sad life, and sad end. Praying for those they will try to rehab.

  9. Nancy Raymond says:

    Sorry, $25,000 is way too low of a bail that these three maggots will probably have no problem making – and a lousy four year sentence means about two years for all the cruelty these hunks of sewer slime put these dogs through – there should be legislation to increase the punishment and NO bail for dogfighters – why is it still treated so lightly?

    • ellen cottone says:

      this is great progress. this is just the beginning. i do not know what you think these 3 mugs could possible do in their life time to ever recover from this raide. they are poor impoverished black men from a poor area. but now i am curious my self if i am way wrong and they have the means to get back in the bizz.
      I will find an up date and provide the cha 12 long island ny link

    • ellen cottone says:

      i get it now,
      their is no bail. they sit in jail. the $25,000 is the starting point for each and the fines will rise.
      i think they will never get out of jail. 2 have been court apointed defence. they are already paying for their sins and if i know my county they plan to run with it to the fullist. wait and see they will start a pressident and all states will eventally follow,
      I could not make out the comment from a man who drove by in a white car, can any of you?
      but i can feel his anger and relife as his anger and relife that police have removed these threatning 3 men.
      a young man says behind a closed door he does not want to be on tv, but this is what i heard.
      i am afraid of these men we wanted to help but were afraid. we have all been trreatend and we fear for our children and our loved ones. we have endured such hardship because we are poor and stuck in this horrable life and existance.
      Its a god dam crushing shame.
      clearly the people in this neighbor were also terrirized and tourtured captives.
      now they are all saved
      thank you out their to the secreat informant who took a deep breath and told.
      Shes female, and she did it alone.
      lets pray for them all.

      as for the 3 men,
      tell it to the marines, good luck with that.



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