In Riverhead, Long Island, ten people were arrested and 89 dogs have been seized in what Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini stated is the largest bust in their history.
According to NbcNewYorkNews, the interstate investigation extended from Long Island including Uniondale and Hempstead in Nassau County to New York City, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Instances where dogs who lost fights were electrocuted and female dogs rendered immobile to breed have been introduced as evidence.
Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron described the dogfighting ring as “one of the most disturbing cases I have ever seen in Suffolk County.”
Authorities seized cash, kennels, treadmills and steroids used for the dogs in the fighting rings.
Suspects have all pleaded not guilty and have been released. They have been identified as Paul Whelan, 57, Edward Hodge, 74, Darrel Madison, 44, Jeffrey Spencer, 65, Charles Macwhinnie, 53, William Ashton, aka “Mr. Bill”, 80, Joseph Owens, 49, Jontae Barker, 32, Timothy Eury, 43.
The dogs have all been transferred to the ASPCA and receiving care. Eight dogs were also seized in Connecticut. At this point the dogs cannot be made available for adoption as their owners have not surrendered them. A judge will make that decision at a later time.
A special grand jury has been formed to investigate crimes against animals and to make legislative recommendations to combat animal cruelty.
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