In a Manhattan federal court on Thursday, jurors viewed a disturbing video showing an accused dogfighter keeping dogs in horrible conditions and showing a dog being mauled by another as one of the dogs cries out in pain and agony.
According to the New York Post, Rasheed Richardson, 29, has been accused of animal fighting and conspiracy. In May 2017, police and animal rescue organizations searched the suspect’s Bronx home and found 11 caged dogs that had been kept in tight wooden kennels with small holes in the front so they could see the captive dogs next to them – a technique used to foster aggression, the criminal complaint stated. The dogs whined and cried – desperate to be freed. Another dog had been kept in a 55-gallon drum.
Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Stephanie Lake told the court Richardson exploited the dogs for sport, money and entertainment.
“The defendant wanted to buy a fighting dog, a fighting dog that made its opponent scream in pain, a dog that tore at another dog’s neck relentlessly. That is because the defendant is a dogfighter, a member of a dogfighting conspiracy,” stated Lake.
Richardson’s defense attorney told the jury there was nothing criminal how his client kept the dogs nor was he training the dogs to fight. None of the dogs had scars and no money was found. The ASPCA humanely euthanized five of the dogs because of their aggression – one of the dogs attacked an ASPCA employee.
If found guilty of all charges, Richardson faces a maximum of ten years in prison.
(Photo of dog shown in accused dogfighter trial screenshot via NY Post)
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