Love Cats? The ASPCA Doesn’t. National Dog Fighting Awareness Day April 8 Is Just Another Reminder

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day is April 8, the Saturday before Easter this year. The ASPCA, which created the holiday in 2014 and made $57,015,814 (net) in 2020, will post photos and videos of the 875+ pitbulls taken from dogfighters last year and urge people to donate. Although every shelter in this country is full, leaving thousands of people rehoming pets because of inflation, COVID-related evictions and other excuses to use Craigslist, Facebook and Next Door to get rid of them, the ASPCA will not warn its 1.8 million Facebook followers, 498,000 Twitter followers or 471,000 Instagram followers that dogfighters are killing cats and kittens. It stopped warning people after Matthew Bershadker replaced Ed Sayres as CEO in May 2013.

If you’re against CEOs of corporations making millions while their employees struggle to make ends meet, please stop funding CEOs who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year while animals suffer.

Your $19/month has made the ASPCA rich

As you can see from the above March 30, 2023, screenshot, the money you donate to the ASPCA is not helping animals. HumaneWatch has been trying to tell people this for years, and CBS News tried warning people in 2021. Stop donating. If you want to help animals, donate to your local spay/neuter clinic; start a spay/neuter drive in your community (ask local business owners to donate a percentage of profits); search Google for pet pantry near me and donate food and litter; and share the following Reddit posts, including the many articles posted as comments beneath them, with your mom, grandmother, coworkers and other well-meaning people who need a wake-up call. If you have time, post them in response to comments beneath sponsored ads on Facebook. The cats and kittens that are about to be killed this kitten season need your help since so-called animal advocates succumbed to greed, essentially aiding and abetting what was already “a multi-billion dollar a year industry” in 2007.

This cat was posted in Cleveland’s Craigslist pet section, where I caught dogfighter Angelo McCoy communicating with people breeding kittens and collecting cats for his dogs to tear apart. She and other cats don’t deserve to die while the ASPCA, HSUS and Best Friends continue to make millions of dollars in donations.

Police/feds seized 875+ pitbulls from dogfighters in 2022. The American Society for the PREVENTION of Cruelty to Animals has a duty to warn its millions of followers that dogfighting has increased across the country. Instead, it’s playing hear-no-evil-see-no-evil while cats and kittens are killed.

Open letter to ASPCA CEO Matthew Bershadker: This is what a Society for the PREVENTION of Cruelty to Animals does. Police/feds took 859+ pitbulls from dogfighters in 2022. They took 150 from dogfighters in Detroit, Delaware and Maryland in January. Shelters are full. Why aren’t you warning people?

What should the ASPCA do to warn people about dogfighters?

For starters, the ASPCA should post/tweet mugshots and other photos of dogfighters.

Thirty percent of dogfighters are women, as a North Carolina newspaper reported in 2018. When you get rid of cats, kittens, rabbits, dogs & other animals, you are likely handing them to pitbulls, regardless of whether you live in the U.S., the UK or South Africa. – International Women’s Day reminder
Female dogfighters don’t look like Michael Vick: A National Women’s Month and kitten season reminder to cat rescues, shelters and people getting rid of cats, kittens, rabbits, dogs, guinea pigs and other pets via Craigslist, Facebook and Next Door. Screencap 6 shows what they do to their own pitbulls.

Second, the ASPCA should show people what a dogfighter’s yard looks like and encourage people to report them to the FBI.

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day, a holiday the ASPCA created in 2014, is Saturday, April 8. Instead of showing people what dogfighters look like, what their yard looks like, what they’re doing to cats, kittens, dogs & other animals and how to report them, the ASPCA will show photos of pitbulls.

Third, the ASPCA should warn people that dogfighters kill cats, kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, goats and any animal that people want to hand them.

National Dogfighting Awareness Day is April 8, the day before Easter. The ASPCA, which made $57,015,814 (net) in 2020, will post videos of pitbulls taken from dogfighters to get people to donate. It will not warn them that dogfighters kill cats and kittens. It stopped after Bershadker became CEO.
Easter bunnies and chicks become bait animals thanks to Tractor Supply, Craigslist and parents who teach kids it’s okay to get rid of pets when they’re done with them. In 2022, police/feds seized 859+ pitbulls from dogfighters who think dogs, cats, kittens, rabbits & other animals are disposable.

The ASPCA could’ve prevented thousands of cats, kittens, rabbits, dogs and other animals from being killed but chose not to.

“The problem was, legislation doesn’t raise money,” Bob Baker, who worked in the ASPCA’s animal cruelty unit, told The New York Times in 2013. “But you could show one picture of a mistreated dog and the funds would pour in.”

Instead of pressuring senators and representatives to ban tethering, to ban hogdogging, which dogfighters use as a cover, or at least put up billboards, the ASPCA got them to sponsor bills that would put dogfighters’ dogs in homes faster.

“I don’t want to come off as a bitter employee,” Baker said. “But it got to the point where animal welfare was not the priority, fund-raising was. It felt as though the animals were being used for fund-raising, rather than using funds raised to help the animals.”

Nothing says Christmas like corporate greed. The Humane Society of the United States continues to milk the September South Carolina dogfighting raid for every penny those pitbulls are worth. Remember: Animal advocacy is a business. In 2020, HSUS paid its CEO, marketing team & other execs $2,671,051.

Petition for Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentence for Dogfighters and People Collecting Cats, Kittens and Other Bait Animals for Them

Cleveland, Ohio, dogfighter Angelo McCoy was first arrested for dogfighting during a November 2014 raid in Akron. “A concession stand outside sold hot dogs and refreshments,” reported. “After police raided the home Saturday using an armored truck, they found about $30,000 scattered through the yard and eight pit bulls — six ready to fight and two bloodied dogs inside the ring.” This raid involved nearly “100 Akron police officers, two SWAT teams and Summit County Sheriff’s deputies” and resulted in the arrest of 47 people from around Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California

McCoy, who ran from officers that night, was sentenced to a year of probation rather than prison.

While McCoy was on probation, he was busted for dogfighting again — in June 2015. “He was sentenced to 10 months in prison,” reported.

Both judges told McCoy that he wasn’t allowed to have more dogs, but when McCoy was busted with “112 grams of heroin, 21 grams of cocaine, more than 400 prescription pills [and] $8,591 cash” during a January 2020 drug investigation, police found 11 injured dogs and one dead dog behind his house. McCoy was arrested for dogfighting a third time and allowed out on $25,000 bond. 

Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy’s home.

In November 2020, while McCoy remained out on bond for his third arrest, I caught someone using Craigslist to collect bait animals for him. Later, I caught them using Craigslist to communicate with each other. Just before Thanksgiving, I realized he had a woman named Celina breeding kittens for him. 

With the exception of the cat who was killed in Akron in the upper right corner of this tweetthese are just SOME of the cats and kittens McCoy has given to his pitbulls to tear apart since he was allowed out on bond in February 2020

Who knows how many dogs he’s killed. All of these deaths could’ve been prevented by giving McCoy the prison sentence he deserved the first time.

McCoy’s case highlights two problems with dogfighters. 

First, as you can tell from him and the following repeat offenders, dogfighters don’t stop fighting dogs unless they’re in prison.

Second, dogfighters continue to commit crimes while out on bond. 

  • Buffalo, New York, dogfighter Douglas Williams was busted for dogfighting in October 2020. Despite having prior animal cruelty convictions and despite the fact he was on parole for “violent” home invasion, Williams was able to post bail — and flee. U.S. Marshals found him in Georgia a year later.
  • Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy has skipped court dates since his January 2020 arrest and he’s obviously continued to fight dogs and kill cats and kittens; 
  • Georgia dogfighter Benjamin “Benji” Shinhoster III was busted for dogfighting in 2018. While out on bond, Shinhoster was “caught trying to sell several dogs,” news station WRDW reported. “’The gall of this defendant to continue as a proprietor of death while on bond is unnerving,’” said Jason Williams, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.”

Cases like the foregoing are why a Georgia judge denied bond to 15 dogfighters who were arrested in April 2022 and why Georgia dogfighters tend to get more than a slap on the wrist. Dogfighters Chistopher Raines and Jarvis Lockett were sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison, respectively, in February 2022, for example, and Demetris Deshan Kennedy was sentenced to 20 years in July 2020. 

Georgia dogfighter who won’t be killing animals any time soon.

But even in Georgia there’s a great disparity in sentences. One could easily argue that Vernon Vegas, who, according to the Department of Justice, “bred, trained, sold and transported dogs for the purpose of dog fighting” and attended dogfights with Christopher Raines and other dogfighters from 1996 to 2020, got a slap on the wrist despite being sentenced to the maximum five years he could receive. 

Feds seized 150 pitbulls in the Vegas/Raines case. This year alone, investigators have seized:

How many cats, kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, small dogs and other animals obtained from Craigslist, Facebook, Next Door and other social media apps died terrifying, painful deaths to train those 859 pitbulls and entertain depraved heathens

The Humane Society of the United States has estimated since the 2007 Michael Vick case that we have over 40,000 dogfighters and people breeding pitbulls for them and another 100,000 “street fighters” across the country. That estimate already amounted to an average of 2,800 dogfighters per state, give or take since there are more dogfighters in Georgia and Florida than, say, North Dakota and Alaska. But those numbers have skyrocketed thanks to inept and possibly corrupt animal control officers, animal advocacy organizations that are advocating for dogfighters and police officers who don’t know what they’re up against. Cops have no incentive to spend months or even years investigating a dogfighting case when judges are mysteriously recusing themselves over a year into a case and dogfighters like Nasir Azmat are given a 60-day sentence.

I caught Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy killing the cats and kittens people were posting on Craigslist in 2020, when people were posting elderly COVID victims’ pets on the site. Imagine these cats going from a loving home to losing their owner and not knowing why to being driven away from their home, having their hind legs tied together and being handed to pitbulls to tear apart for practice. 

Now that people are posting even more pets on Craigslist, Facebook, Next Door and other apps because they were laid off during COVID, are now being evicted and are moving to cheap apartments that don’t allow pets, there has never been a better time to discourage dogfighters from killing those pets by ensuring they get a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence when they’re caught. Please sign and share this petition.

Recent Dogfighting Busts and Why They Matter to Cats and Kittens, Not Just Dogs

With the exception of an April 2019 arrest in Columbus, Ohio, and a November 2019 raid in Toledo, the maps below show recent dogfighting busts that occurred between Buffalo, New York, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, while animal “protective” leagues and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals closed their doors to the public during COVID, stopped doing trap-neuter-return and told people who’d lost their job and had to move to a cheaper apartment that didn’t allow pets that they were only taking pets on an “emergency basis,” — i.e., hoarding cases.

This is how the map looked before I added a Warren, Ohio, arrest May 18, 2021, and realized dogfighters had also been busted an hour and a half away from Warren in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, in 2019.
This is how the Ohio map looks after the Warren, Ohio, dogfighting arrest, which only occurred as a result of a four-month-long drug investigation, making the drug decriminalization that occurred in Oregon earlier this year shortsighted if you know anything about dogfighters.

Why Dogfighting Busts Matter to Cats and Kittens

Dogfighters have been killing cats and kittens to train their pitbulls since at least 2007. A shelter worker warned HuffPost readers not to post cats, kittens and other pets on Craigslist or Facebook in 2015. Michigan State University College of Law’s detailed discussion of dogfighting and its signs of a dogfighting operation reveal how dogfighters use cats and kittens to train pitbulls to attack their opponents. Some, like Columbus, Ohio, dogfighter Charles Granberry, who was arrested in 2016, hang a cat from a catmill that looks like this:

Homemade catmill

or this:

“The dogs run in circles, chasing the bait,” Michigan State University’s College of Law says. “Once the exercise sessions are over, the dogs are usually rewarded with the bait they had been pursuing.”

Others hang a cat or kitten from a dog treadmill that looks like this:

Starved dogs are able to lunge and nip at the animal while it dangles from a hook before them.

In 2021, a Brooklyn, New York, couple sicced their dogs on colony cats. In February 2022, an 18-year-old in Orlando chased a cat out of a tree so his pitbulls could kill him/her. He walked home with blood and fur on his clothes. Months later, a 17-year-old and 12-year-old in Philadelphia set down their leashes so their pitbulls could attack a cat named Buddy lying on his porch. They were charged with felony animal fighting. This is the world we live in. Every time you “rehome” a cat or kitten by giving or selling your pet to someone you’ve never met, you are risking that animal’s life.

You can see Youngstown, Ohio, on both of the maps above.

In the past six months, I have replied to over 10,000 Craigslist ads to warn people about the dangers of posting free and cheap cats and kittens on Craigslist, Facebook, and other apps/websites. Despite how many cats turn up tortured and dead in the news and despite Netflix’s recent “Don’t F___ with Cats” documentary, people still think 10, 20, or 30 bucks will “ensure a good home.” It won’t. When Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was busted as a result of a drug investigation in January of 2020, he had over $8,500 in cash. When police caught him during a 2014 dogfight in Akron, Ohio, he had over $400 in his pocket and feds found $30,000 in the yard. A New York City dogfighter busted in August 2021 placed a $175,000 bet on a fight. Dogfighters and the people collecting bait animals for them have not only been using Craigslist to communicate with each other, they’ve posted Craigslist ads seeking cats and kittens. If they’re brazen enough to post ads while they’re out on bond, awaiting trial, as McCoy has been since January 2020, they’ll pay for it. Allow me to illustrate:

You spend money on your dogs. Why wouldn’t a dogfighter, who stands to gain thousands of dollars from his dogs, spend money on his?

Recent Dogfighting Arrests, Raids and Investigations

Although a lot of Black people are on the following list of recent dogfighting arrests, which is organized by date and nowhere near complete, it’s crucial to remember that white people — like this guy in Akron, Ohio, who’s collecting cats and breeding kittens for a dogfighter — are just as evil. Sharing this information, that tweet in particular and 10 Signs Your Neighbor Is Fighting Dogs (and Killing Dogs, Cats, Kittens and Rabbits) will help save a lot of lives.

  • May 2023: Iredell County, North Carolina: Dogfighters James Morrison of Statesville, Phillip Stevenson of Statesville, Curtis Bowers Jr. of Lenoir, Sean Burton of Mooresville, Maurice Moore of Charlotte, Maurice Washington of Charlotte, Thomas Bennett of Charlotte, Jashari Billups of Charlotte, Tomocka Gladden of Asheboro, Keith Robinson of Greensboro, Maurice Nance of Newberry, South Carolina and Johnathan Baxter of Newberry, South Carolina were busted near a golf course thanks to an anonymous caller who reported them to police.
  • May 2023: Sumter, South Carolina: Dogfighter Patrick Williams was arrested and police seized two pitbulls, dogfighting equipment, 46 grams of crack cocaine, 20 grams of cocaine and $10,000 in cash, according to news station WACH.
  • April 2023: Rocky Mount, North Carolina: Dogfighter Ryan Taylor was arrested and eight dogs were seized after a tip led animal control officers to check out Taylor’s home on Eagles Terrace.  
  • February 2023: Rome, Georgia: Dogfighter Jacob Driver, Jr., was arrested and police seized 17 dogs from a vacant home at 60 Weathington Road and another dog from Driver’s home on East 20th Street. “Investigators say they found evidence Driver had been tracking their history and performance to sell them as ‘good breeding dogs,'” Fox 5 Atlanta reported. “Investigators say this type of evidence matches previous busts involving the training and grooming of animals for fighting. Evidence found indicates the dogs were groomed to be increasingly agitated and hostile towards other dogs.”
  • February 2023: Pageland, South Carolina: Dogfighter Derwayne Terry Miller, Sr., was arrested and police seized 13 adult dogs and nine puppies. “[O]ne of the dogs was found roaming the streets,” according to a report obtained by WSOC-TV.
  • January 2023: Seaford, Delaware: Dogfighters Kevin Land of Seaford and Byron Briddell, Glenn White, Timothy Whaley and Samuel Foreman from Maryland were busted as they tried to flee from police, who seized 14 dogs, including bait dogs and a dog that died from fighting, from a “heavily wooded area  in the 26000 block of Lonesome Road,” according to WHYY.  Another dogfighter, Ronnell Jacobs of Laurel, Delaware, was arrested days later thanks to his ankle monitor. Police took four dogs from his property; one died.
  • December 2022: Canton, Georgia: Dogfighter Randall Thaxton of Union Hill Road was “charged with nine counts of felony dogfighting and nine counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty,” according to Fox 5 Atlanta. Police seized nine dogs.
Canton, Georgia, dogfighter Randall Thaxton
  • November 2022: Palm Coast, Florida: Dogfighter Willie Gardner III of of 6 Perotti Place shows the dangers of abandoned/foreclosed properties. Police seized six pitbulls from the back yard of this home at 508 South Railroad Street in Bunnell, Florida.
Abandoned home in Florida being used for dogfighting.
  • Gardner was already facing a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge on a separate case involving dogs,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. “He was scheduled to go on trial in that case Monday, but it was continued. The misdemeanor charge stems from a case in which the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and animal control seized nine dogs, some of them pit bulls, from a property on Knox Jones Avenue [about a 10-minute drive from the abandoned house on Railroad Street].” In addition to scarred and injured pitbulls, Gardner had over 50 incriminating videos on his phone.
Palm Coast, Florida, dogfighter Willie Gardner III
  • November 2022: Jacksonville, Florida: Dogfighter Terry Thomas wasn’t charged with dogfighting, but police took 20 dogs, two rabbits, “a bite stick, spring pull rope, bait trap, syringes, wound treatment spray and supplements” from his house on Castle Boulevard, News4JAX reported. Instead of being charged with dogfighting, he was charged with “animal cruelty and confining animals without sufficient food and water.”
Jacksonville, Florida, dogfighter Terry Thomas
  • November 2022: Dallas, Georgia: Dogfighter Vincent Lemark Burrell, 55, was arrested and police seized 106 dogs — “mostly pit bulls” — at a home that “was not fit for humans or animals.” Burrell is “being held in the Paulding County Jail without bond,” news station KIRO 7 reported.
Dallas, Georgia, dogfighter Vincent Lemark Burrell
  • October 2022: Tuscumbria and Center Star, Alabama: Dogfighter Lamarcus Ricks was “charged with 17 counts of dogfighting and over 60 counts of animal cruelty” after police seized nearly 90 dogs from two properties, news station WAFF reported. “In 2002, Ricks was charged with the murder of LaPatrick Anderson, he pleaded not guilty to this charge. According to court documents, Ricks changed his plea to guilty but to the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, 1st degree. Ricks was sentenced to 15 years in prison.”
Tuscumbria and Center Star, Alabama, dogfighter Lamarcus Ricks
Indianapolis, Indiana, dogfighter Edward Bronaugh
  • September 2022: Rock Hill, South Carolina: Dogfighter Kelvin Foster was one of nearly two dozen dogfighters busted in six South Carolina counties after police stopped a planned fight and raided properties. Investigators seized 275 pitbulls, 50 of which came from Foster’s property, and 30 beagles.
Rock Hill, South Carolina, dogfighter Kelvin Foster
  • August 2022: St. Louis, Missouri: Dogfighter Brian Maclin, 57, was arrested thanks to a tip from the public. After turning himself in, Maclin told police he’s been fighting dogs for 30 years, news station KMOV reported. Investigators seized 13 pitbulls, 12 of which were hidden in a detached garage in dungeon-like conditions. One dog’s jaw was “hanging off of its face,” according to North County Police Cooperative Maj. Ron Martin. [These 13 pitbulls make 312 pitbulls seized from dogfighters since January.] Michael Duke, owner of rescue Max’s Second Chance Express, said he’d suspected there was a dogfighting ring in St. Louis because he kept encountering torn-up dogs and cats, but “no one really took it seriously” until the North County Co-op got involved.
St. Louis, Missouri, dogfighter Brian Maclin
  • August 2022: Jacksonville, Florida: Dogfighter Juaron Miller Sr. was caught fighting dogs as police attempted to execute an arrest warrant for domestic violence, reported. “According to investigators, when police arrived at the home and knocked on the door, they heard noises in the backyard, and when they approached that area, they discovered an alleged dogfighting match. The arrest report states that when spectators saw officers approaching, someone yelled ‘police,’ and multiple people started running and jumping the fence to get away.”
Jacksonville, Florida, dogfighter Juaron Miller Sr.
  • July 2022: Monroe, North Carolina: 19-year-old dogfighter Joshua Mungo was arrested, and police seized 40 adult pitbulls and 10 puppies. “Genine Sturdivant was also charged for misdemeanor cruelty to animals,” WCCB Charlotte reported.
Monroe, North Carolina, dogfighter Joshua Mungo
  • July 2022: High Point, North Carolina: Dogfighter Toriano Cave, 51, was only charged with “one felony count of owning and/or possessing a dog with the intent that the dog be used in a fight with another animal” even though police seized 15 dogs (three adult male dogs, three adult female dogs and nine recently born puppies) from his home at 1209 Penny Road, reported.
High Point, North Carolina, dogfighter Toriano Cave
  • July 2022: Cleveland, Ohio: Dogfighter Ronald Smith, 39, was arrested in Akron two weeks after U.S. Marshals posted a reward for information leading to his capture. Smith had property in both Akron and Cleveland. Investigators seized 15 pitbulls.
Cleveland/Akron dogfighter Ronald Smith
  • June 2022: Silver Creek, Georgia: Dogfighter Mekiel Woolfork, 31, was arrested months after police found six “malnourished” pitbulls, the skeletal remains of two puppies, two treadmills and a spring pole that dogfighters use to strengthen pitbulls’ jaws, reported. “Woolfork is charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals as well as prohibition of dog fighting and related conduct. He is also charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals and failure to appear in court.” He was denied bond.
Silver Creek, Georgia, dogfighter Mekiel Woolfork
  • May 2022: Sandersville, Georgia: Police seized 96 pitbulls from dogfighters in three counties (Washington, Johnson and Laurens).
  • May 2022: Largo, Florida: Dogfighter Terrell Coley, 38, was arrested and police seized 33 pitbulls, including puppies, as well as “dog-fighting equipment, guns, ammunition and cocaine,” Tampa Bay Times reported. Coley was also caring for two children under age 14 “without food or supplies.”
Largo, Florida, dogfighter Terrell Coley
  • April/May 2022: Gastonia, North Carolina: Dogfighter Terrance Cooper was arrested May 27. April 28, police seized 30 dogs, four goats and seven rabbits from  1911 Hemlock Avenue after utility workers reported what you see below. “Cooper is being held at the Gaston County Jail on a $325,000 secured bond,” WSOC-TV reported. Detective J. Brienza is looking for people he fought dogs with. Report them to 704-866-3320 or submit an anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers at 704-861-8000 or online.
Police seized dozens of pitbulls and bait animals in Gastonia, North Carolina, where dogfighter Rico Pagan was arrested in 2021.
  • April 2022: Lehigh Acres, Florida: Dogfighters Anthony Pew Sr. and Jr. were arrested thanks to tips from the public. Police seized 16 injured, malnourished pitbulls from two locations, including a home on West 9th Street, CBS12 reported. Police also seized pigs and chickens.
Lehigh Acres, Florida, dogfighters Anthony Pew Sr. and Jr.
  • April/May 2022: Donalson, Georgia: A total of 17 dogfighters from Donalson, Florida, and Panama City, Florida were arrested after a tip sent police to Jessie Mitchell Road April 24. Police arrested 12 people that night and took 27 pitbulls. Police later caught three more people, and “Marvin L. Pulley III, age 50, and Donnametric S. Miller, age 39, turned themselves in to Seminole County Sheriff officers on May 2,” Donalsonville News reported.
  1. Gary Hopkins, 65, from Donalsonville, Georgia
  2. Robert P. Fioramonti, 35, from Donalsonville, Georgia
  3. Kayla E. Stelle, 22, from Panama City, Florida
  4. Temichael S. Elijah, 45, from Donalsonville, Georgia 
  5. Christopher Brown, 28, from Donalsonville, Georgia
  6. Terelle D. Ganzy, 33, from Panama City, Florida
  7. Herman Buggs Jr, 54, from Donalsonville, Georgia
  8. Brandon A. Baker, 39, from Panama City, Florida
  9. Ramar D. Lee, 45, from Donalsonville, Georgia 
  10. Robert L. West, 38, from Panama City, Florida
  11. Fredricus White, 34, from Panama City, Florida
  12. Cornelious Johnson
  13. Fredica Buggs, 34
  14. Rodrecus Kimble, 41
  15. Torris Kimble, 29
  16. Marvin L. Pulley III, 50
  17. Donnametric S. Miller, 39
Donalson, Georgia, and Panama City, Florida, dogfighters
  • March 2022: Monroe and Winnsboro, Louisiana: Dogfighters Tonie Youngblood, 49, of 105 Thompson Street, Ernest Wallace, 43, of 105 Thompson Street, Ladarrius Jordan, 37, of 45 North Chamingdale Drive, David L. Johnson, 48, of 903 Luther Drive, Tony O. Miles, 30, of 2313 Cypress Street, Tyler M. Williams, 29, of 3007 Earle Drive and Riley C. Williams, 62, of 254 Clayvon Road were arrested after police discovered them behind a “high wooden fence” about 200 yards from a dog kennel on Henry Parker Road. “The wooden floor and two-foot walls are covered with blood stains from past fights,” The Franklin Sun reported. Unlike Texas police who let 100 dogfighters flee as they arrested Jesus Stephens in November 2021, Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office blocked them so they couldn’t run. “Upon discovering there was no other way out, they exited the vehicles throwing crates containing dogs in bushes and woods. Some dogs were also left behind in locked vehicles,” the Sun reported. Police seized 20 dogs.
  • November 2021: Waskom, Texas: Dogfighter Jesus Stephens, 31, was arrested Nov. 14 at what police first thought was “a pasture party” on Strickland Springs Road. After a crowd of approximately 100 people scattered, police found malnourished dogs, weights and “dozens of kennels with blood.” A dog “had to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries,” KETK reported.
Waskom, Texas, dogfighter Jesus Stephens
  • September 2021 – Anderson, Indiana: Dogfighter James Peterson “was charged with possession or purchase of an animal for fighting, animal fighting contest promoting, cruelty to an animal, misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia and … harboring a nonimmunized dog” after a neighbor spotted five dogs “barking and going crazy” outside his mobile home, Fox 59 reported. Police saw those five dogs and six chickens in a cage. When they returned with a search warrant days later, they seized eight injured pitbulls and the injured chickens. “The dogs were placed in individual compartments in an Animal Control vehicle with steel plates separating the cages. According to court documents, the dogs reacted so violently when placed next to each other that at least twice, the dogs were able to break through the walls and attack each other. Witnesses say the dogs were clearly attempting to kill each other, and Officer Owen said he had to use his Tazer on two of the dogs to separate them. According to court documents, an Animal Control officer on scene said he had never seen this level of aggression before.” In September 2022, “Peterson was sentenced to two years in prison and one year in the county jail.
Anderson, Indiana, dogfighter James Peterson
  • September 2021 – Meriden, Connecticut: Nearly two months after Connecticut State Police seized eight pit bulls, a dogfighting ring and dogfighting equipment from a home on Brittania Street, police arrested fugitives Getulio Maedo, 46, of Bridgeport, Jose Rivera, 42, of Meriden, and Nelson Rivera, 43, of Meriden. October 5, police took another seven dogs from 968 Grassy Hill Road in Orange. They discovered these guys because they’re connected to the Suffolk County, New York, dogfighters busted in August (below).

    • September 2021 – Battle Creek, Michigan: Labor Day weekend, a woman called police to report “10 to 15 people” in the yard of 203 Cliff Street. “Two people were holding pit bull terriers by their collars facing each other,” and then “a small puppy was dropped between the two larger dogs and was killed,” the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. When police arrived around 1:18 a.m. Monday morning, “the men separated the dogs. A 27-year-old man told officers he was walking past the residence and his dog was attacked by the other. The man denied anyone was fighting dogs. Others who were gathered around declined to talk to officers.” The following Friday, police searched the Cliff Street address and 145 Illinois Street, where they found “one dog with some injuries” and “some written documents and electronic devices.”

    • August 2021 – Lusby and Chaptico, Maryland: Dogfighters Rodney Carlton Rance, 52, and Charles Henry Hall, II, 44, have been charged, respectively, with 40 counts of aggravated animal cruelty (based on allegations that Rance engaged in dogfighting, maintained premises for dogfighting, and possessed equipment and dogs for use in fights) and seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty (based on allegations that Hall engaged in a dogfight and transported dogs for fighting), according to Washington D.C.’s Fox affiliate. 

    • August 2021 – Long Island, New York: Dogfighters William Ashton and Darrel Madison of Mastic; Jontae Barker and Jerome Chapman of Bay Shore; Edward Hodge of Uniondale; Jeffrey Spencer of Wyandach; Paul Whelan of Shirley; Timothy Eury of Hempstead; Charles Macwhinnie of Hampton Bays; and Joseph Owens of Amityville were arrested and 89 pitbulls — 81 from New York and eight from Connecticut — were rescued. Police found “veterinary surgical supplies such as a skin stapler, ‘rape stands’ used to immobilize female dogs during breeding, plugging cords used to electrocute canines, ‘break sticks’ used to [open dogs’ jaws] during a fight, steroids, treadmills, spring poles and more,” NBC News reported. “Though the dogs were subjected to unimaginable cruelty, those who participated in the ring didn’t seem to mind since, according to officials, one person made a $175,000 bet on one fight.”

Hampton Bays, New York, dogfighter Charles Macwhinnie

    • July 2021 – Golden Gate, Florida: Dogfighter Rafael Jesus Del-Valle-Jomarron was charged with “four counts of animal cruelty causing cruel death, pain or suffering, one count of animal fighting and one count of selling, possessing or using equipment for fighting or baiting,” according to WINK News. Eight pit bulls, two of which were pregnant, a female hound dog, and an injured rooster were rescued from the 52nd Lane home.

    • June 2021 – Gastonia, North Carolina: Dogfighter Rico Pagan, 49, was arrested after a months-long investigation that “started after community members expressed concerns to animal control,” WSOC-TV reported. Pagan was “charged with three felonious counts of dogfighting. Investigators said the charges are for the training, promotion, and participation in dogfighting. Pagan has also been charged with 12 felonious counts of animal cruelty.”

    • June 2021 – Placerville, California: Carlos Villasenor, 38, was arrested after a U.S. Department of Agriculture special agent bought dogs bred for fighting from Villasenor in May and June. The USDA removed 27 dogs from the property, half of which “were attached to huts or trees by heavy chains,” FOX40 reported. “Many” were injured. Investigators “also found evidence of a dog fighting venture, including a breeding stand and treadmills, as well as veterinary supplies like skin staplers, antibiotics and IV bags,” and they found a Chihuahua — a suspected bait dog.

    • June 2021 – Washington, D.C.: Odell S. Anderson Sr., 52, “pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act by conspiring with others to sponsor and exhibit dogs in a dog fight, as well as to buy, sell, possess, train, transport, deliver, and receive dogs for the purposes of having those dog participate in animal-fighting ventures. Additionally, Anderson pleaded guilty to one felony count of causing a child under the age of sixteen to attend an animal-fighting venture,” according to the United States Department of Justice. Anderson and three other men — Emmanuel A. Powe Sr., 46, of Frederick, Maryland, Chester A. Moody Jr., 46, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, and Carlos L. Harvey, 46, of King George, Virginia — “were involved in training, transporting and breeding dogs for dogfighting between April 2013 and July 2018,” NBC 12 reported.

    • May 2021 – Warren, Ohio: Dogfighter Stanley Edward Redd Jr., 42, was busted during a drug investigation. Police seized 12 dogs from three locations. “During the search, detectives recovered $62,000 in cash, two firearms, two dog training treadmills, 183 grams of suspected heroin/fentanyl, 41 grams of crack and more than 200 suboxone strips,” according to WFMJ.

    • May 2021 – Sylvania, Georgia: Andrea Lanier, 37, and Christopher Lovett, 37, were charged after police took 35 dogs, including 34 pit bulls, from 184 Acorn Hill Drive. Five dogs had to be euthanized, WTOC reported.

    • April 2021 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An arson investigation turned into a dogfighting investigation after Philadelphia Fire Department found five dogs and dogfighting “paraphernalia, including bite sticks covered in blood, collars, and scales used to weigh the dogs” and a dogfighting ring, WHYY reported. No one has been arrested yet.

    • April 2021 – Newton, Georgia: Dogfighters John Lee Thomas, Montreal Marquiz Orr, and Ricky Recardo Malone were arrested “at a residence in the 400 block of Clear Lake Road,” per WALB News 10. Eleven dogs, two of which were severely injured, were removed from the property.

    • April 2021 – Prattville, Alabama: Dogfighter Titus Cortez Daniels, 36, was arrested after police, who were responding to a call elsewhere, discovered a dozen pit bulls were “chained in a wooded area off Indian Hills Road,” the Montgomery Advertiser reported. “It’s obvious from the layout what he was doing,” Police Chief Mark Thompson said. “[The] dogs were kept on heavy chains in close proximity to one another, but they couldn’t get to one another. They had old fighting scars and fresh wounds on them.”

    • April 2021 – Dorchester, Massachusetts: Dogfighter Javier Ruperto, 42, was arrested after police found five pit bulls, dogfighting training equipment, “a high-capacity magazine for a gun” and a “significant amount” of marijuana, reported. Ruperto, known as Dr. Dog among dogfighters, had been arrested in 2014 and banned from owning dogs in 1997.

    • March 2021 – Leonardtown, Maryland: Woodbridge, Virginia, dogfighter Damien Terrell Wilson was charged with 47 counts of animal cruelty. In February, police “were tipped off to the location of a suspected dogfighting arena located on a SMECO power line cut-through,” the Southern Maryland Chronicle reported.” Those 47 charges include 11 counts of possessing/training a dog to fight; 11 counts of restraining/limiting a dog’s movement; three counts of possessing dogfighting paraphernalia; four counts of causing injury to a dog; and 11 counts of neglecting to provide water and shelter, according to the BayNet police blotter. Police rescued 11 dogs, but three were euthanized after being deemed too aggressive to be rehomed.

    • March 2021 – Madison, North Carolina: Dogfighter Darrick Lorenzo Fuller, 42, was busted after an anonymous tipster reported an internet ad for fighting dogs. When police executed a search warrant, they found 35 scarred and injured dogs, some with broken bones and “teeth that had been worn and filed down,” Fox 8 reported. They also found “a dog treadmill, dog training poles, a breeding rack, multiple vials of lidocaine, dog ear cropping molds, bags of medical equipment and a shock collar.”

    • March 2021 – Daytona Beach, Florida: “Police said they arrested Noble Geathers, 53, Earl Holmes, 50, and Benjamin Ponder, 33, all of Daytona Beach, after they found 42 pit bulls caged mostly outdoors on Reva Street.” The Orlando Sentinel reported that Geathers “told detectives he breeds the dogs and gives them away through a program for ‘children and women in need,’ according to his arrest affidavit. While searching the property, police found medical records for the dogs alongside medications and supplements, including one commonly used in dogfighting rings to boost dogs’ stamina and endurance …”

    • March 2021 – Tacoma, Washington: Dogfighter Elmer Givens Jr.’s case epitomizes the ridiculousness of dogfighting cases in some states. “Deputies were first called to Givens’ property on Nov. 14, 2019 after receiving a complaint about six pit bulls looking starved and cold,” KOMO News reported. Police returned a month later and found 48 more dogs, almost all of which “had scarring on their faces and hind legs, indicative that they were fighting dogs.” Givens was arrested and told he could only have five dogs. In March 2021, someone reported Givens for promoting his dogs on Facebook. Thanks to a neighbor with a drone, police returned to the property to rescue 36 more dogs. Givens flat out told police he’d have more dogs the next day. When police asked how many, he replied something “to the effect of: ‘However many I want to. I’m not afraid of jail. I’ve been to jail, and as long as you ain’t charged me and convicted me, I’m gonna do whatever I want.'” He was arrested but couldn’t be held because of COVID.

    • February 2021 – Hammond, Louisiana: “Officers arrested three people and rescued 12 dogs after finding a dogfighting operation while searching for drugs in a Hammond home, a release said Friday.”

    • February 2021 – East Spencer, North Carolina: Dogfighter Delontay Jaquan Moore, 25, was arrested after an investigation that started in February 2018, according to the Salisbury Post. Twenty-five dogs were taken from Moore’s Welder Street home.

    • February 2021 – Flint, Michigan: Police rescued 15 pit bulls and confiscated “two dog treadmills, a weighted dog sled, and ‘injectable medications/syringes” during a drug investigation that led them to find “a large amount of cocaine and a firearm,” The Detroit News reported. 

    • December 2020 – Jacksonville, Florida: Angelo Ellis, 42, was charged with 72 counts of animal cruelty, animal neglect, and dogfighting, according to “Former JSO police officer Jim Crosby is one of the nation’s leading experts on dogfighting investigations. He said many people don’t realize there’s a dogfighting pipeline involving a lot of people who try to stay under the radar. ‘You got a pipeline here from Florida that goes down I-10 out to Louisiana,’” Crosby said.

    • October 2020 – Asbury Park, Neptune Township, Freehold and Lakewood, New Jersey – Dogfighters Xavier Reed, 30, Rashad Anderson, 39, Mark McMillian, 43, and Rufus Squarewell, 38, were among 29 people arrested after an eight-month investigation into drug and gun sales, gang retaliation, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering and dogfighting. “The dogfighting part of the enterprise worked in cooperation with out-of-state breeding facilities that focused on training dogs to kill and engaged in interstate dogfighting events. In one instance, Reed lost $5,000 on one of his own dogs in a dogfight held in Philadelphia. In another instance, Reed bragged about maintaining his fighting dogs by feeding them chickens and rabbits, remarking how much the dogs loved killing the animals,” TAPinto Belmar and Lake Como reported.

    • October 2020 – Mobile, Alabama: Dogfighters David Black, 26, Gregory Mims, 42, and Selwin Carson, 57, were arrested after police spotted a dog crate in an SUV on the way to investigate a report of dogfighting. They pulled the vehicle over and saw the dog’s face was injured. “The driver and the passenger were taken into custody. While officers were working on the report another male subject approached the scene and was taken into custody,” KCTV5 reported.

    • October 2020 – Buffalo, New York: Dogfighter Douglas Williams was busted after a month-long investigation that started because people provided tips to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the SPCA, the Buffalo News reported. Police pulled him over with two pit bulls in his vehicle. “The sheriff’s SWAT team later executed a search warrant at his residence where they found three dogs in a backyard area that all appeared to have been involved in dog fighting.” Despite the fact Williams was on parole for home invasion when he was arrested for dogfighting, the judge allowed him out on bond. Williams never showed up for his court date, so Crime Stoppers offered a $2,500 reward for information pertaining to his whereabouts. U.S. Marshals caught him in Georgia in October 2021.

    • September 2020 – Cleveland, Ohio: “Cleveland police seized nine dogs from a home in the city’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood as part of a suspected dogfighting investigation,” reported. Although “[i]nvestigators found the dogs had old injuries and new injuries, and they determined almost all had been involved in some kind of fighting in the 24 hours before the raid,” no charges were filed, Fox 8 reported.

    • September 2020 – Macon, Georgia: Dogfighter Shadaar Williams, 25, was charged with six counts of dogfighting and six counts of animal cruelty after someone reported that he was fighting dogs on Kingsview Circle. Police rescued six dogs.

    • August 2020 – Detroit, Michigan: Thanks to a tipster, police rescued nine pit bulls and confiscated dogfighting equipment from a Seyburn Street home, The Detroit News reported.

    • June 2020 – Kalamazoo, Michigan: Dogfighters Javon Clark and Raymond Drain were both charged with two counts of animal fighting and one count of animal cruelty and Deonte Daniels and Robert Daniels were both charged with one count of improper dog tether after a May 2020 complaint about barking on East Frank Street turned up 10 pit bulls, roosters, and hens living in “deplorable conditions” along with dogfighting equipment, according to WKZO. Over the next five weeks, the investigation led to two other homes.

    • May 2020 – Marietta, Georgia: Dogfighter Ronald McCarthy, 43, was arrested after a police officer noticed a pit bull with “fresh wounds on its face, mouth and ears” on Austin Avenue. The officer took the dog, named Kilo, to the address on the dog’s collar and “noticed several crates in the back yard that were visible from the road, as well as empty rifle boxes near the front door,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Five more dogs were inside the house, but neither of the two men at the address claimed to own them. A search warrant revealed “methamphetamine, LSD, MDMA, the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam and three airsoft rifles” as well as a 9 mm rifle and an AR-15. McCarthy had been released from a Louisiana prison earlier in 2020.

    • April 2020 – Frankfort, Kentucky: David Allen Jackson, 45, was charged with 38 counts of animal cruelty after a drug investigation led police to 38 pit bulls, many of which had mange or heartworms. None of them had access to food or clean water. Uncaged dogs were tethered to heavy objects, and one was tethered with a 42-pound chain. Police also found treadmills, the State Journal reported.

    • March 2020 – Cleveland, Tennessee: Matthew Garman posted a video of his pit bull killing a Siberian husky online with the caption “He did good.” In June, he was sentenced to six years in prison for violating probation.

    • March 2020 – Flint, Michigan: Dogfighter Marquel Holmes was “charged with two 40-year felonies and two 60-year felonies” for drug possession and “six felony counts related to dog fighting, possession of dog fighting equipment, and abandoning or cruelty to animals” after July 19, 2019, and January 13, 2020, raids turned up a total of 761 grams of powder cocaine, 48.5 grams of crack cocaine, 17 grams of fentanyl, a digital scale, cash, injured pit bulls, including one with fresh wounds on its face, and dogfighting equipment such weighted collars and chains, a treadmill, “and numerous dog medications and other evidence known to be related to illegal dog fighting,” WNEM reported.

    • February 2020 – Detroit, Michigan: A dogfighter on Abington Avenue was arrested and 21 dogs were rescued thanks to tipsters, reported.

    • February 2020 – Franklin, New York: Another tip led police to arrest dogfighter Nasir Azmat, who was charged with “20 counts of possessing dogs under circumstances evincing an intent that such animals engage in animal fighting, [o]ne count of owning or possessing animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in or otherwise promote or facilitate animal fighting, [and] 20 counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals – failure to provide proper sustenance,” according to WKTV. Police rescued 20 dogs from the property.

    • February 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Dogfighter Casper Ingram, 45, was arrested after someone reported 10 to 15 dogs chained up on Ingram’s property. Ingram was charged with “19 counts of cruelty to animals, one count of keeping a place, equipment or facility for training dogs for dogfighting and one count of owning possessing, keeping or training dogs for fighting” after police obtained a search warrant and found 24 dogs, spring poles, bait poles, and “medication, vitamins and other supplements used for dogfighting,” reported. One dog, used for breeding, had her teeth removed. None of the dogs had shelter or access to food and water.

    • January 2020 – Columbia, South Carolina: A 35-year-old woman named Chasity Hammonds was charged with animal fighting and baiting after someone in her community reported that she had a “suspicious number of dogs” in her backyard, The State reported. South Carolina law defines fighting as “an attack with violence by an animal against another animal or a human” and baiting as provoking or harassing “an animal with one or more animals with the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals or between animals and humans.” Police took six malnourished and injured dogs, including one with bite marks and “other signs of fighting” that weren’t being treated.

    • January 2020 – Hickory Grove, South Carolina: Dogfighter Ronald Edward Faulkenberry was charged with “animal fighting, eight counts of ill treatment of animals, 11 counts of violation of county restraint ordinance, eight counts of inadequate water, six counts of violation of York County spay ordinance, 12 counts of violation of the shelter ordinance, and 12 counts of violation of the rabies ordinance” after one of his 14 pit bulls attacked a 71-year-old relative who was watching the dogs for him, WSPA reported. In addition to all the dogs, police found a fighting pit and breaksticks at the Sawmill Road home, WSOC-TV said.

    • January 2020 – Cleveland, Ohio: Angelo McCoy, 48, and Nylajennel Mobley, 29, were arrested during a drug raid in which “[o]fficers seized 112 grams of heroin, 21 grams of cocaine, more than 400 prescription pills, [and] $8,591 cash from inside the home,” according to Investigators also “found a dead dog that appeared emaciated … 11 other injured dogs in cages without adequate food or water, with no shelter and in filthy conditions and ‘dog-fighting equipment,’ according to court records.”

    • December 2019 – Monroeville [and West Mifflin], Pennsylvania: Dogfighter Davon Carter Williams was arrested after police searched his phone during a drug investigation and discovered videos of dogfights that had taken place in Williams’ basement in January. His 28 dogfighting charges include: “six counts of animal fighting, two counts of owning or [possessing] or selling an animal for animal fighting, three counts of encouraging and aiding in animal fighting, three counts of paying admission to attend animal fighting, 12 counts of cruelty to animals, a charge of knowingly permitting animal fighting and one charge of having animal fighting paraphernalia,” reported. Williams’ sister, a 21-year-old woman named Ricki Knight of West Mifflin, was charged with eight counts of animal fighting and eight counts of cruelty to animals.

    • December 2019 – Donaldsonville, Louisiana: Four people were arrested and three people were sought by police after someone reported a dogfight that turned up 10 dogs total, two dogs that were fighting, and “a quantity of drugs, guns, money, dog fighting paraphernalia, and drug paraphernalia.” Dogfighters who were arrested:

Donaldson, Louisiana, dogfighters Joseph Duncan and Jarrett Bringier

Dogfighters Keith Williams Jr. and Joshua Jones

Donaldson, Louisiana, dogfighters who fled:

    • December 2019 – Manhattan, New York: “Evans Fuentes, Edward Johnson, and Benito Gittens abused dozens of dogs between September 2018 and October 2019, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” the New York Post reported.

    • November 2019 – Mesa, Arizona: William Winfield, 47, and Heidi Perpich, 41, were arrested for dogfighting after police found three chained and malnourished dogs whose water “was covered with algae,” a portable fighting arena, blood-stained carpet and towels, weighted collars and harnesses, and dogfighting literature.

    • November 2019 – Toledo, Ohio: As the result of a joint investigation with the USDA Office of the Inspector General, Toledo police raided several homes and rescued dogs but didn’t arrest anyone. “Toledo police said they will share more information on the raids and what they found when it is appropriate,” WTOL reported.

    • October 2019 – New Bern, North Carolina: Dogfighters Saman Reaves, Aaron Dejon Inman Jr. and Anthony Mackmore (from Monck’s Corner) were discovered due to a 911 call about men arguing at 920 West Street, reported. All three were charged with felony dogfighting and baiting, felony trafficking of heroin, felony possession of methamphetamine and MDMA and possession of a stolen firearm, according to WNCT.

    • September 2019 – Louisville, Kentucky: Dogfighter William Washburn, 46, was arrested after a months-long investigation that began because Washburn had been posting pictures and videos of dogs he was training. “One of the pictures, posted on Aug. 29, showed a dog on a treadmill accompanied by the caption, ‘1xw,'” WDRB reported. “Police say the caption indicated that the dog was a ‘one time winner’ of a dogfight. Another dog posted “had ‘won in 42,'” meaning the dog had won the fight in 42 minutes. When police searched his Peaslee Road home, they found dogfighting paraphernalia and a scarred-up pitbull on a 2-foot chain, according to WDRB.

    • August 2019 – Magnolia, Arkansas: Dogfighter Eddie Dean McBride, 46, was arrested after a joint investigation by Magnolia Police Department, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the U.S. Marshals Service who rescued four injured pit bulls from McBride’s Columbia Road property. They also took a rifle and items McBride used to train the dogs, including weighted collars and chains, two treadmills, a digital scale, horse steroids, and syringes.

    • July 2019 – Macon, Georgia: Dogfighter Jonriquez Grayer, 22, found “a pistol, Ruger rifle, marijuana, a ‘large amount of money,’ and evidence of dog fighting,” while executing a search warrant, Fox 28 Savannah reported. Animal control rescued seven dogs from Grayer, who was charged with “possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possessing a firearm while committing a felony, and seven counts of prohibited dog fighting and related conduct.”

    • June 2019 – Batesville, Arkansas: An arrest warrant was issued for Andrew Ford, 29, after police found 20 pit bulls, 16 of which were chained with heavy chains, three pieces of animal hide, a ledger book that documented his dogs’ training, a catmill equipped with a dog chain on one end and another chain that had an animal hide attached to it, two treadmills, and pieces of plywood fitted with bolts “consistent with use for putting a dog fighting ring together,” KAIT8 reported.

    • June 2019 – Cumberland, Maryland: Dogfighters Blair and Deborah Carter, who lived on Shriver Avenue, were arrested after police “found eight emaciated pit bull dogs at an abandoned residence on M.V. Smith Road,” Cumberland Times-News reported. “As part of the investigation, a search warrant was served at a Cumberland residence where deputies located further evidence of dogfighting. Police also recovered a handgun and suspected drugs. An additional pit bull was removed from that residence. The couple were charged with numerous charges relating to the dogfighting operation, including providing premises for dogfighting and animal cruelty. Blair Carter also faces charges of firearm possession with a felony conviction and drug possession. Deborah Carter also was charged with drug possession.”

    • May 2019 – Fresno, California: Dogfighter Avery McLemore was arrested after a woman driving past “an old factory near Weber and Belmont” caught McLemore siccing one dog on another dog in April and recorded him, KMJ NOW reported. “The dog that was being attacked, the smaller dog you could tell that it was so exhausted from being bitten. It would pull away and the guy kept pulling the dog’s leash forward to him,” she said. Police took his dogs.

    • May 2019 – Camby, Indiana: A Crime Stoppers tip prompted police to search two properties Martin Anderson owned. They wound up rescuing 10 pit bulls and 550 roosters. Anderson had been arrested for attending a Monroe, Michigan, dogfight in 2011.

    • April 2019 – Columbus, Ohio: German Sanchez was arrested after police found 20 dogs “suffering from dehydration, illness and open wounds,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. In October 2020, he was “sentenced to four years in prison for running a dogfighting operation and trafficking in drugs at the house in the 700 block of Dexter Avenue.”

    • April 2019 – Severn, Maryland: Dogfighter Kyle Murray, 26, was arrested after police received a tip that Murray was training dogs to fight and uploading videos to social media. In one video, a pit bull was attacking a small, white, mixed-breed puppy, KMOV reported. “Other videos showed the pit bull being ‘trained’ in ways indicative of methods used for dog fighting.” A detective messaged Murray, seeking to set up a fight. April 9, Murray was arrested and the pit bull were seized, but the bait dog [white puppy] was nowhere to be found.

    • April 2019 – Tupelo and Horn Lake, Mississippi: Dogfighters Cesaus Williams and Danny McCoy, respectively, were arrested in connection with the dogfight Jamie Holmes was arrested for in March.

    • March 2019 – Portsmouth, Virginia: Leonard Madison was arrested and 33 dogs were removed from Madison’s Bold Street home. Police also seized “a dog treadmill associated with dogfighting [and] chains, an artificial insemination kit for animals and a digital scale,” WTVR reported.

    • March 2019 – Batesville, Mississippi: Dogfighters Ladon Douglas, 43, and Kendrix Hardin, 44, were arrested and Scottie Draper is missing after police busted a dogfight with 30 onlookers “in a wooded area, hidden by trees” on Draper’s property, Action News 5 reported. Police rescued five dogs, but one died.

    • March 2019 – Tupelo, Mississippi: Dogfighter Jamie Holmes, 30, was arrested after police busted a Saturday night dogfight that caused the death of a dog named Rainbow. Police confiscated the dogfighters’ wood-frame dogfighting ring as evidence, WTVA reported.

    • February 2019 – LaGrange, Georgia: Demetris Deshan Kennedy, 32, was arrested for dogfighting during a drug investigation. Police “found three firearms, body armor, ammunition, and approximately 11 ounces of marijuana inside the home,” according to “In the backyard, five pit bull-type dogs, each chained to the ground with logging chains were found. In a shed in the backyard, investigators recovered dog fighting training paraphernalia, including a homemade treadmill and spring pole.”

    • February 2019 – Covington, Georgia: Dogfighters Darrell Barber and Richard Cobb were arrested after a 1:45 p.m. tip led animal control officers to the woods behind an Allen Drive house. “Several dogs were fighting and three males were standing around them, each holding a pitbull on a leash,” Covington police spokesman Justin Stott said in a press release, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “One male took off running with a pitbull as soon as officers approached and announced (they were police).” Their bait dog “was still alive but moving slowly and had blood coming from its head and had bite marks on its back,” Stott said. 

    • February 2019 – Pueblo, Colorado: Dogfighters Jerry Grady and Armando Vigil were arrested with three other people after a year-long investigation that began because “community members called [Animal Law Enforcement] to report a large number of animals on the property” on East Beech Street, news station KOAA reported. Police ultimately”found evidence of dog fighting along with 19 dogs on the property chained without access to water, severely injured, and scarred because of recent abuse.” Three dogs were euthanized for aggressive behavior; 13 were transferred to various shelters; and three were returned to their owners “who were unaware of what took place on the property.” Grady was sentenced to six months in prison and six years of probation; Vigil disappeared before his court date.

    • December 2018 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Kevin Valentine “was arrested on 19 counts of dog fighting” after police found over a dozen pit bulls, 19 of which were later euthanized, and a treadmill, according to WBRZ. The repeat offender had been arrested twice for dogfighting in the early 2000s.

    • November 2018 – Sherwood, Oregon: Dogfighter Russell Fernandez, 54, was arrested after a tip led police to the 19000 block of SW Pacific Highway, where they found dogfighting equipment and four dogs with “no access to water and very little food,” KOIN reported.

    • September 2018 – Gilman Township, Wisconsin: Houa Dia Yang and Senyen Vang were arrested on dogfighting charges after police found 20 scarred and injured pit bulls and about 1,500 hens and roosters, according to NPR. They also found marijuana plants and four pounds of meth.

    • August 2018 – Bendena, Kansas: Colton Albright “was charged with 10 counts of dogfighting, three counts of possession of dogfighting paraphernalia and one count of animal cruelty after 45 dogs were removed from his home,” according to News-Press Now. The judge sentenced him to “65 months for his misdemeanor charge, and six months each on the dogfighting charges. The seven charges will be served concurrently, allowing Albright to serve a minimum of 55.25 months if he were to receive time off with good behavior.”

    • July 2018 – Liberty, North Carolina: Seven dogfighters were busted when police executed a search warrant and stumbled upon a dogfight in progress. Police found two pit bulls, “numerous dog fighting materials (sodium chloride, syringes, cotton swabs, burn relief spray and medications), a small amount of marijuana and $2,537,” WFMY News reported. Ronald Vaughn was sentenced to 7-18 months in the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections; General Williams III was sentenced to a 15-27 month suspended sentence, 30 months of supervised probation and a two-week “active/split sentence in the Randolph County Jail,” according to the Courier-Tribune; Michael Williams was sentenced to an 11-23 month suspended sentence, 24 months of supervised probation and 28 days in the Randolph County Jail; James Hunter was sentenced to an 8-19 month suspended sentence, 18 months of supervised probation and 48 hours of community service work; Tavon Lanier’s was not reported; Elbert McMillian was sentenced to an 8-19 month suspended sentence and 36 months of supervised probation; and Robert Charles was sentenced to an 8-19 month suspended sentence and 24 months of supervised probation.

    • June 2018 – Flint, Michigan: Former gang member and dogfighter Bruce Cayton, 32, was arrested after attempting to retrieve his 11 pit bulls from animal control, WNEM reported. An anonymous tip led police to discover the dogs at two abandoned houses that didn’t have electricity. “The dogs chained inside had not been fed or given water in several days and were being transported in the trunks of cars to various locations,” WNEM said. Investigators also found “syringes, needles, suspected drugs and drug paraphernalia as well as a medication associated with dog-fighting.”

    • April 2018 – Wichita, Kansas: Dogfighter Jeric West was busted after an anonymous tip led police to find: three injured and underweight dogs suspected of being bait dogs, two scarred pit bulls tethered to car axles via heavy chains, a break stick, which dogfighters use to pry open a pit bull’s jaws, antibiotics and dog supplements, duct tape, which dogfighters use to tape bait animals’ mouths closed so they can’t fight back, two guns, and $2,800. Sedgwick County District Judge Tyler Roush, who needs to be disbarred, sentenced West to a year in prison, suspended that sentence in favor of a year of probation, and forbade West from owning any kind of animal during that year-long probation.

    • April 2018 – Rougemont, North Carolina: Dogfighter Daniel Isiah Crew Jr., 41, was charged with 40 counts of felony dog fighting after police removed 30 dogs from Crew’s home. Police also found treadmills, records, and evidence of a dogfighting pit, ABC 11 reported. “Some of the dogs had injuries where their ears had been cut, they were missing some teeth. Some of them had been missing some toes. They had puncture wounds throughout their neck, through their body,” Orange County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Dawn Hunter told reporters.

    • March 2018 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fourteen dogfighters were arrested after PSPCA officers and police raided a dogfight in a South 35th Street building off Grays Ferry Avenue on a Saturday night. They rescued four pit bulls and took “drugs, two guns, a large amount of cash, and a blood-soaked wooden fighting ring from the space,” Phillymag reported.

    • March 2018 – Eastman, Georgia: Dogfighters Xavier Simmons, Benjamin Shinhoster, Dwight McDuffie, James Lampkin, Deveon Hood, Joe Ford and Andre Archer were arrested after police received a tip about a 9 p.m. dogfight and encountered a dog “covered in blood” during an 11 p.m. traffic stop, WGXA reported. After the driver admitted to being at a dogfight on Rozar Goolsby Road, police raided the house and found “55 pit bulls staked to the ground by heavy chains” as well as antibiotics, syringes and “a treadmill with a rope attached to the front.” They also found “seven pit bulls in four grave areas.”

    • February 2018 – Coatesville, Pennsylvania: Dogfighter Dowayne Molina “was charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver, three counts of related dog fighting/training and animal cruelty, one count of a felon not to possess a firearm and one count of drug paraphernalia” after state troopers stopped him for a traffic violation, saw an injured dog in the vehicle, and later took six pit bulls, four rabbits, “a .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol, several dog treadmills, IV kits for the pit bulls and various other dog medical supplies used to treat fighting injuries, and dog fighting paraphernalia” from Molina’s home.

    • November 2017 – Lansing, Michigan: Dogfighters Clement Waddy, 42, Kian Miller, 40, and Charles Miller, 33, were arrested after a months-long investigation turned up “a treadmill designed specifically for dogs, weighted collars, strength supplements and handwritten notes for feeding and exercise regimens,” the Lansing State Journal reported. “Charles Miller’s cell phone stored ‘extensive videos of dogfights … as well as conversations with dogfighters about fighting dogs, training dogs for fights, and medical care for dogs after fights.'”

    • November 2017 – Toledo, Ohio: Dogfighter Todd Sturdivant was charged with training a dog for dogfighting on the 15th, according to

    • November 2017 – Dinwiddie, Virginia: Dogfighter Eldridge Freeman Jr., 44, was charged after police found 26 “heavily chained” dogs, many of which “were covered in scars on their heads, chests and front legs,” a dogfighting pit with a blood-stained tarp covering it, and dogfighting paraphernalia,” ABC 8 reported. In February 2019, Freeman was sentenced to 108 years in prison but will only serve 10. “Freeman insisted during his trial that he loves his dogs and that he trained them to compete in legitimate pitbull competitions,” ABC 8 said.

    • November 2017 – Hartsville, South Carolina: Dogfighter Edward Lamont Robinson, 36, was “charged with three counts of ill treatment of animals, presence at animal fighting or baiting, possession of a weapon by a certain person, and possession of marijuana” after tips to Animal Control were relayed to police who investigated Robinson because, after seeing photos of the dogs, they “did not want to wait to see if the dogs were being fought, or not,” WMBF News reported. Animal Control had also recently picked up three apparent bait dogs near Robinson’s house.

    • October 2017 – Loranger, Louisiana: Dogfighter Clay Turner, 61, was arrested after “agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service and other agencies” removed 33 dogs, many of which were injured, and dogfighting “paraphernalia” from Turner’s property, the United States Department of Justice said in a statement. “On telephone calls obtained via court-authorized wiretaps, Turner and others discussed gambling on dog fights, arranging and participating in dog fights, sponsoring and exhibiting dogs in dog fights, training and housing dogs for the purposes of dog fighting, commerce in and transport of fighting dogs and the promotion of dog fights. Turner also stated he would give the dogs ‘dex,’ referring to Dexamethasone — a substance that causes bowel evacuation — to achieve proper weight for the dog fights.”

    • October 2017 – Kinston, North Carolina: Dogfighter Hal Tyler Jr. was arrested around 11 p.m. on a Saturday after people reported a dogfight at a home on Sherman Street. Police found two dogs, including a pit bull puppy whose face and neck required 48 staples, and a wooden dogfighting ring. People watching the fight fled when they arrived. Police arrested Juan Derico Rufus and charged him with felony dogfighting the following Tuesday.


    • September 2017 – Nicholson Township, Pennsylvania: Edward Harris, 59, Melisha Renee Robinson, 38, Regis Leonard Grooms, 34, were each “charged with 23 felony counts of cruelty to animals; 23 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals; and 23 summary counts of cruelty to animals” after “dumb luck” led police looking for stolen ATVs to “a fresh set of muddy ATV tracks, leading up a driveway to 251 Church St.,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. There, police found 29 pit bulls, including three dead dogs and two puppies, found in a plastic container, that later died. Harris raised, bred, and trained the dogs, and Robinson and Grooms helped train and fight the dogs, fed them, destroyed remains, and shipped the dogs. “(As a prisoner,) [Harris’] phone calls are recorded and he has spoken in great detail encoded about his dog fighting enterprise,” the Post-Gazette said.

    • September 2017 – Eagle Springs, North Carolina: Dogfighter Brexton Lloyd, 54, was arrested during an investigation called Operation Grand Champion. During a March 2017 raid of Lloyd’s property, police seized 13 pitbulls, a spring pole, a dog harness, a scale, and veterinary supplies, such as IV fluids, antibiotics, syringes, blood-clotting medications and a skin stapler.

    • August 2017 – Alexandria, Virginia: Dogfighter Rodriguez Rodney Lomax Norman, 31, “bred, trained, and exhibited dogs in organized fights,” according to the United States Department of Justice. Police “found over a dozen dogs, an animal treadmill, heavy dog chains, shock collars, lunge whips, performance-enhancing animal pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies like syringes and skin staplers.” Rodriguez and 11 other people also “purchased thousands of stolen credit and debit card numbers, encoded those numbers onto fraudulent credit cards, and used those cards to buy merchandise including gift cards and cartons of cigarettes,” so he was sentenced to 108 months in prison for that and 12 months for dogfighting.

    • August 2017 – Aragon, Georgia: Dogfighter Devecio Ranard Rowland, 32, was arrested after police found 107 dogs “tethered to trees or chained to axles driven into the ground” with 30-pound chains around their neck, Georgia Public Broadcasting reported. They also found steroids and other growth supplements, a dog fighting training video, and a rape bracket used to strap a female in for breeding. Rowland’s property was reportedly under investigation since a February 2010 tip led police to suspect animal cruelty. In May 2018, Rowland was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 35 years of probation but could have gotten 642 years in prison.

    • August 2017 – Erie, Pennsylvania: Dogfighter and MMA fighter Danny Swift, 42, was arrested and 14 pit bulls were removed from 1047 West 28th Street “after an Erie police officer saw two dogs fighting outside the house on Aug. 1,” reported. One dog later died. Swift was “sentenced to serve 10 to 20 months in county prison followed by seven years of probation” and can never own another dog, Erie News Now said.

    • August 2017 – Louisville, Kentucky: Dogfighter Larry Ferguson, 41, was arrested after a tip led police to search a home near the intersection of South 23rd Street and West Gaulbert Avenue, WDRB reported. There, they found three dogs. One had recently given birth to puppies; another was loose; and the third was in the garage, which “had at least an inch of standing water in it,” the police stated. “The dog house in the garage was full of muddy hay and water.” The female dog in the garage was missing her ears “as if they had been chewed off.” None of the dogs had fresh water to drink. Police also found cocaine.

    • May 2017 – Natchez, Mississippi: Dogfighter Charoyd Bell was arrested after a tip led police to a home where police heard yelping coming from a local bayou. When they arrived, they spotted Bell and another guy, Damien Green. “[O]ne was sitting and one was holding the pit bull ready to allow the dog to launch, and the other one tied to the tree. The young man holding the pit bull was Bell,” Sheriff Travis Patten told WLBT. Fourteen pit bulls and a hound dog were rescued from the Lasalle Street home. Bell had a history of animal abuse and dognapping.

    • March 2017 – Toledo, Ohio: Dogfighter Jerry Buchanan, 47, was arrested after police found dogs with “scars consistent with dogfighting … [c]anine medication, books about dogfighting, penicillin, dog treadmills, dog food, and dog weights” along with cocaine, over $3,000 in cash, scales, baggies, and a rifle, according to the Toledo Blade. Within a week of his arrest, Toledo’s humane society offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who threw a dog and garbage out of a truck. The dog’s “ears, throat, chest, and front legs are riddled with gaping, infected bite wounds,” the Toledo Blade reported. “Stephen Heaven, president and CEO of the organization, said the severity of the injuries and their concentration on the front of his body indicate Otis was purposely fought by someone as opposed to having gotten in a general scuffle with another dog.”

    • March 2017 – Bushnell, Florida: An anonymous tip led police to discover Patrick Riley was “breeding, prepping and training dogs to fight,” WFTV reported. Riley admitted to hosting one dogfight on his property, but “evidence suggests that he has been involved with dogfighting since 1975.” Police rescued eight pit bulls and took dogfighting equipment and “documentation detailing involvement, attendance and hosting of dogfighting events,” WFTV said. Police also seized crystal meth, Ecstacy, marijuana, pills, and antibiotics.

    • January 2017 – Texarkana, Arkansas: Dogfighters Christopher Tremayne Harper and Jaquavian Jaqwon Johnson were arrested after police initially gave them the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t fighting dogs. Harper told police his pit bull’s ears had been cut down nearly to the head when he bought the dog and promised he’d take the dog to a vet. “Less than an hour later,” Texarkana Gazette reported, police received another report of dogfighting in the same area. “Officers made contact a second time with Jaquavian Johnson and noted that his white pit bull had puncture wounds and other injuries consistent with dog fighting,” TXK Today said. Johnson was sentenced to five years of probation but after failing to comply with the terms of that probation and committing another crime, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

    • January 2017 – Rock Island, Illinois: According to the Department of Justice, Jaquan Leontae Jones, 27, was charged with knowingly attending a dogfight, and the following nine men, one of whom hailed from Iowa, were charged with “conspiracy to sponsor and participate in a dog-fighting venture and related charge” between 2011 and 2016:  

    • December 2016 – North Carolina: Dogfighters Leo Chadwick (from Hubert), 64, Aaron Richardson (from Jacksonville), 42, Cedric Cook (from Fayetteville), 39, James Martin (from Maple Hill), 39, James Golden III (from Ayden), 47, William Farrior (from Maple Hill), Lewis Edmond Andrews Jr. (from Maple Hill), 41, Ronnie Thompson (from Jacksonville), 39, and Mark Anthony West (from Jacksonville), 52, were arrested after an investigation that began in October 2015. “The investigation revealed that Chadwick had been involved in raising and training dogs for the past 35 years,” an FBI press release stated. “During the search of [Richardson’s] property, investigators located several ‘training chains’ that weighed as much as 70 lbs.” A 34-pound dog on Chadwick’s property was tethered with a 34-pound chain. A total of 156 dogs were rescued. Chadwick was sentenced to five years in prison; Richardson was sentenced to 96 months in prison; Farrior was sentenced to 48 months in prison; Cook was sentenced to 45 months in prison; and Martin and Golden got slaps on the wrist with four years of probation and six months of house arrest (Martin) and 100 hours of community service (Golden).

    • December 2016 – Fayetteville, North Carolina: While police investigated property on Bluebird Lane, “Leedell Watkins told a deputy had a five dogs there and wanted to get them out,” CBS17 reported. “We started [talking] to him about his five dogs and that led us to look into him a little more,” Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Sean Swain said. A search warrant revealed text messages about dogfighting. Watkins had also recorded and taken pictures of dogfights. He was charged with 33 felonies — specifically 20 counts of felony dog fighting, 12 counts of felony animal cruelty, and felony conspiracy.

    • July 2017 – Battle Creek, Michigan: Dogfighter Javaan James was arrested after police raided James’ home for drugs and “found five pit bull terriers in the backyard and several items they said were used to train dogs for fighting,” the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. James, who was charged with animal cruelty and neglect in 2014 and 2015, respectively, was sentenced to two to eight years in prison.

    • June 2016 – Albuquerque, New Mexico: Dogfighter Robert Arellano was charged with “13 counts of violating the animal fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act,” according to the Department of Justice. “Arellano had previously been arrested and indicted on additional charges in the District of New Jersey pertaining to his alleged involvement in a multi-state dog fighting network. Those charges alleged criminal acts related to transporting, delivering, buying, selling, and receiving pit bull-type dogs for dog fighting ventures and conspiring to commit these acts in New Jersey and elsewhere throughout the U.S.” In October 2018, Arellano was convicted in the New Jersey case thanks to evidence showing he’d shipped two dogs to New Jersey in 2014, KRQE reported. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

    • April 2016 – Columbus, Ohio: Dogfighter Charles Granberry sold pit bulls to an undercover detective twice in March 2016, according to Great Lakes Echo. “He was caught with numerous training tools, such as treadmills, cat mills and heavy chains, in his home as well as a blood-stained dogfighting pit, court documents show. Granberry was also found with veterinary supplies to treat the dogs to avoid getting caught.” In April 2017, Granberry was sentenced to 72 months in prison. Although “Granberry was a significant figure in the operation,” The Columbus Dispatch said, four other men — Henry Hill Jr., 20, Anthony McGuffie, 22, Randall Frye, 57, and Dwayne Robinson Jr., 32, — were also charged during raids that rescued 45 dogs.

    • March 2016 – Linda Vista, California: After a “months-long investigation,” police rescued nine dogs, some scarred; one pregnant. They also found “a treadmill, chains, tropheys, weights and belts, items consistent with dog training,” NBC San Diego reported. “The dogs were kept in the United States, but were [taken] to Mexico to fight in several different cities where they could win up to $80,000 in prize money,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Robert Hill said.

    • February 2016 – Delray Beach, Florida: Dogfighter Roy Bennett was arrested after police knocked on his door on Southwest 10th Avenue, following up on an anonymous tip. Bennett answered the door “with blood on his hands, tee shirt and socks,” the Sun-Sentinel reported. When asked why he was bloody, he said his dog was injured. In his backyard, police “found malnourished dogs in makeshift cages without food or water. Another dog found unchained was bleeding from its mouth with cuts all over its body.” They also found his dogfighting pit: bloody carpets “surrounded by plywood in a square shape in what appeared to be a dog fighting ring.” According to WPBF 25 News, Bennett had been arrested for dogfighting in 1995 as well.

    • December 2015 – Hawthorne, Florida: A noise complaint led police to arrest Ruth Renae Bryant, 44, around midnight Saturday, December 19, after encountering “a large group of people at what appeared to be an organized dog fight,” reported. “Dozens of people fled leaving behind 39 vehicles, some registered as far away as Jonesboro, Ga., and Bradenton” and police found two injured dogs “in a wood-box arena designed for fighting” and 17 other dogs. The Sheriff’s Office considered Bryant to be “the primary facilitator of that initial fighting event” and said she owned the property.

    • November 2015 – Bartow, Florida: Dogfighter Hewitt Grant II, 48, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 30 years of probation after his release after being found guilty of 84 counts of animal cruelty related to dog fighting. The strong sentence came as a result of being told he wasn’t allowed to own more animals eight years earlier, the Ledger reported. In 2007, Grant had been sentenced to 364 days in jail after being found guilty of 80 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Those charges were dropped after an appeals court ruled deputies had illegally searched his property, but the admonition remained in effect.

    • November 2015 – Chicago, Illinois: Dogfighter Larue Jackson, 57, was arrested after a tip led police to South Throop Street. There, they found 13 dogs chained in the basement, blood on the basement floor, a dead dog in the backyard and “items indicative of dogfighting such as bite sticks, canine medications and fighting ledgers,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

    • October 2015 – Parkesburgh, Pennsylvania: Dowayne Molina, 37, and Teresa Campos, 33, were charged with animal cruelty after parole officers found dog-fighting equipment, five injured pit bulls, and seven puppies.

    • August 2015 – Natchitoches, Louisiana: Dogfighter Ronald Payne Jr. 44, was arrested and dogfighter Kerry Turman Kahey, 37, fled. Police rescued 13 dogs. “The dogs are reportedly friendly toward humans, but workers with animal control say they do attack other dogs,” KSLA reported.

    • July 2015 – Macon, Georgia: Sheryl Smith, 54, a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office corrections deputy, and her two sons, Bruce Davis, 36, and Felix Hughes Jr., 30, were arrested for dogfighting after police “responded to a call at the residence where Smith lived to assist Animal Welfare Officers in reference to some injured dogs,” WGXA reported. Police confiscated a rape stand, used to breed dogs, a treadmill and “medicines … along with supplies used to clean eight dogs before fighting at a house on Dalton Street.”

    • July 2015 – Detroit, Monroe and Jackson, Michigan: Dogfighters Pierre Livingston, 43, of Detroit, Marcus Bradford, 44, of Southfield, Brian Williams, 35, of Detroit, Sherita Jones, 35, of Detroit and Maurice Littles Jr., 24, of Detroit, were “each charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to sponsor and exhibit an animal fighting venture,” mlive reported. “Maurice Littles, 44, of Jackson, faces those same charges, plus a count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.”

    • June 2015 – Houston, Delaware: Dawan Nelson, 33, of Houston, was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison for dogfighting, possessing over $1 million in cocaine with intent to distribute, and being a convicted felon illegally possessing guns. Sixty-two of Nelson’s 67 pit bulls had to be euthanized, according to Delaware Online.

    • June 2015 – Kearneysville, West Virginia: Steve Jennings was charged with 14 felony counts of dogfighting after “an undercover agent purchased a pit bull and allegedly said that the dog would be used for fighting,” Herald-Mail Media reported. Twenty-one pit bulls, including 14 scarred from dogfighting, were removed from the property, where investigators found “a fighting pit, cellphones, breeding stations, collars, weights, chains and documents were seized along with the dogs of varying ages and conditions.” Despite all the evidence, Jennings was only sentenced to three months in prison and three years of supervised probation, according to WDVM.

    • May 2015 – Freeport, New York: Dogfighters Anthony Reddick, 54, and Ava Marie Green, 22, were among 15 people arrested during a drug investigation.

    • April / May 2015 – Natchitoches, Louisiana: Dogfighters Ivory Hicks, 43, and Chase Alan Skinner, 27, were arrested and 23 dogs were rescued from the 1500 block of Eight Mile Loop, according to KSLA. Four of the dogs were puppies. Two bait dogs, including one whose lip was hanging off in a photo, were gone by the time police arrived.

    • March 2015 – Tampa, Florida: Dogfighters Darnell Devlin, 18, and Kenny Bell, 21, bought a mixed-breed dog with the intention of fighting her, but when she turned out to be a quitter, as dogfighters call dogs that refuse to fight, Devlin and Bell used her as a bait dog and then paid a pair of 17-year-olds to get rid of her. Surveillance video showed all four of them walking the dog to railroad tracks, where she was tied to the tracks and shot “multiple times,” according to USA Today. Police found two more injured dogs at Devlin and Bell’s home, where their mother vouched for them, saying they would never fight dogs. “There is no proof of dog fighting equipment in our house, around the house, or anything like that,” she said. “They don’t. We don’t dog fight. I don’t even let my two dogs. There was nothing like that happening. I would not allow that, not for a second.”

    • January 2015 – Smithfield, North Carolina: Dogfighter Kareleikeya Ankeria Leach, 21, was charged with felony dogfighting after four pit bulls were taken from her home. “One of the animals — a gray male pit bull — had untreated bite wounds to the face and a badly swollen head. The other — a black and white female pit bull — had a broken leg, bite wounds to the face and a badly swollen head,” ABC 11 reported. “None of the dogs had access to food or water.

    • December 2014 – Baltimore, Maryland: Fourteen dogfighters were arrested and 225 dogs were rescued after a year-long investigation led police to raid “15 city rowhouses and other properties, two Baltimore County locations and a compound in West Virginia,” the Baltimore Sun reported. They took “treadmills specially made for dogs, chains, harnesses, steroids, bloodstained dogfighting rings, plastic bite sticks to pry apart dogs’ jaws, scales and ‘rape stands.'” Many of the dogs were named after “Sons of Anarchy” characters.

    • December 2014 – Baker, Louisiana: Dogfighter Eugene Grayer, 49, was arrested after a neighbor reported “barking, whimpering and a lot of commotion” to police, WAFB reported. Another neighbor thought it was suspicious that Grayer had a lot of dogs but never saw anyone walking them. Police took 24 dogs, all of which were euthanized, as well as a treadmill and a raccoon Grayer used as bait. The raccoon was also euthanized.

    • November 2014 – Akron, Ohio: Police who raided a dogfight arrested 47 people from five states, according to and the Columbus Dispatch. “Most of those charged are from Akron, but five are from Cleveland, four are from Columbus and four are from Warren and one each are from Warrensville Heights, Canton, Bedford Heights and Elyria,” reported. “The ring also includes people from four other states, including two from Gary, Indiana, two from Gastonia, North Carolina, two from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one each from Victorville, California, Hesperia, California and East Chicago, Indiana.”

    • June 2014 – Louisville, Kentucky: Dogfighters Edward Bryant, 31, and Robert Dickerson, 27, were arrested after neighbors reported gunshots at a house on Rowan Street. Police “found several pit bills with signs of dog fighting,” according to WAVE3 News. “One dog was bleeding from the neck. Further investigation found an empty room with blood on the floor.” Police also found used syringes and penicillin.

    • April 2014 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Thirteen people, including 24-year-old Thomas Zollicoffer and 31-year-old Travis Hazlett, were arrested during dogfighting raids. Zollicoffer hosted dogfights in his basement, where losers were hanged from beams “until they died from strangulation,” Fox6 Milwaukee reported. Police rescued 22 dogs and found one dead dog buried in Zollicoffer’s backyard. Zollicoffer was sentenced to “five years in prison to be followed by four years of extended supervision,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He was also banned from owning or training dogs for five years.

    • April 2014 – Nashville, Tennessee: Dogfighter Michael Davis and his neighbor, James Jones, were arrested during a cocaine and heroin investigation after police found 38 dogs, ranging from puppies to full-grown adults, who were chained to trees behind their houses on Pewitt Road. “Some of them were emaciated, scarred or marked with gaping, bloody wounds,” the Tennessean reported. Police also found used syringes that were likely “used to inject the dogs with steroids, treadmills, a breeding stand and an object hanging from a tree that could have been used to build the dogs’ leg and jaw muscles.” Later, they found “exercise logs, a jumper cable and $234,950 in cash that had been shrink wrapped and buried outside.”

    • March 2014 – Freeport, New York: Dogfighter Anthony Reddick, 53, was arrested after 13 pit bulls died in a garage fire and investigators found dogfighting equipment. Reddick “fled the scene when the fire broke out” but was caught the following day, NBC New York reported. 

    • March 2014 – Dorchester, Massachusetts: Dogfighter Javier Ruperto, 35, was arrested after police received a tip about dogfighting happening at Ruperto’s home. “The caller also said several injured dogs were living in the basement,” reported. Animal control officers found seven dogs in cages, one chained to stairs leading down to the basement and two treadmills. Two dogs were chained outside at 10 p.m., when it was 16 degrees. Ruperto had been banned from owning dogs in 1997 and was sentenced to eight months in prison for animal cruelty and obstructing an investigation in 1998.

    • January 2014 – Slidell, Louisiana: Dogfighter Ramel Varrick Johnson was arrested after someone reported him for possible animal cruelty. When police arrived at 37314 Powell Road, they found 15 malnourished and injured pit bulls. Johnson was charged with “15 counts of dogfighting, training and possession of dogs for fighting,” Fox 8 reported. Although a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to a 10 years “imprisonment at hard labor, [t]he trial court suspended the sentence and imposed five years of probation under the following special conditions: one year in parish jail, a fine of $1,000.00 and costs, restitution of $4,933.90 to animal services, and the prohibition of the possession or ownership of dogs during probation,” according to

    • January 2014 – West Hempstead, New York: Dogfighter Hector Hernandez, 26, was arrested after someone called in a tip to the District Attorney’s office’s Animal Crimes Tipline. Investigators and animal control officers found eight injured, emaciated and neglected pit bulls, chickens and a rabbit [bait animals] in a shed at 69 Pinebrook Avenue. “Two of the dogs, Roja and Nana, had fresh bite marks on their front sides. Both dogs were also found to be sickly, underweight with bones visible, with overgrown nails and open wounds,” the DA’s office said. Hernandez also had “heavy restraint chains, a treadmill that had been modified with a wooden frame and dog tether … [v]itamins and supplements and a training stick with a stuffed animal attachment.”

    • November 2013 – Minneapolis, Minnesota: Leroy Longs Jr., owner of a three-time champion, was charged with “organizing a dog fighting ring and breeding dogs for that purpose in at least eight locations,” according to CBS Minnesota. Police rescued 18 pit bulls, including five puppies and a pregnant female. They also confiscated a 240-page book on how to become a successful dogfighter.

    • August 2013 – Auburn, Alabama: Dogfighter Donnie Anderson was charged in a multi-state bust spanning Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, according to ABC News. Ten people were arrested and 367 pit bulls were rescued after a three-year investigation by the FBI, who also seized drugs, guns, and $500,000.

    • August 2013 – Fairburn, Georgia: Dogfighter Joseph Bates, Jr., 41, was arrested during a traffic stop in Gautier, Mississippi, when police found nine injured pitbulls in kennels in the back of his SUV. Police also found “dog-fighting paraphernalia like chest weights used to train the dogs,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

    • April 2013 – Terrell, Texas: Dogfighters Brian Martin and Antwian Thomas were arrested after someone reported a dogfight on West Newton Street around 4 p.m., NBCDFW reported. The SPCA rescued 10 dogs; another had to be euthanized. Three other men, Allen Hambrick, Phillip Sterling, and Varleshae Turner, “were each charged with one count of being a spectator at a dog fight.”

    • April 2013 – Toledo, Ohio: Dogfighter Carl Steward, 21, was arrested after a report of a suspicious person revealed a “vacant, boarded-up house” on South Fearing Boulevard was being used as “a three-story training ground and kennel,” the Toledo Blade reported.

    • April 2013 – Ashland, Mississippi: Over 50 people from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas were arrested, according to the Daily Journal.

    • April 2013 – Sacramento, California: Dogfighter James Leiva, 60, of Carmichael was arrested along with three other people. Police took four dogs, drugs, guns, video tapes of dogfights and “medical equipment used to give the dogs steroids, sew up scars, and inject the dogs with fluids after long fights,” KCRA reported. “Authorities said all four suspects have ties to those involved in a massive dogfight that was raided and led to 50 arrests. Two of the people in custody are suspected of having attended the dogfight in Mississippi, before evading authorities by returning to California.”

    • December 2012 – West Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania: Dogfighters Shane Santiago and Laura Acampora were arrested after dead pit bulls around Chester County and a drug investigation led police to discover “blood-caked walls and carpets, a noose that had been used to hang a dog that had bitten one of the children, and electrical wires used to execute losing dogs,” Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate reported. Police also “rescued six dogs, ranging from a young puppy to a severely disfigured adult pit bull” and found “a dead pit bull puppy in a trashcan outside, double-wrapped in plastic bags,” according to the Times of Chester County. Their five children were placed with other family members. Santiago, 34, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half to 15 years in prison; Acampora, 34, was sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months in prison to be followed by 10 years of probation.


    • December 2012 – Dolton, Illinois: Reginald Bailey, 26 (from Dolton), Rolando Davidson, 43 (from Harvey), Arnulfo Salgado-Sanchez, 35 (from Harvey), Michael Dubose, 56 (from Country Club Hills), Shaquille Middleton, 18 (from Country Club Hills), Anthony Fugate, 27 (from Beecher), Donald Hudgins, 45 (from Chicago) and Willie McCray, 26 (from Calumet City), were arrested after a tipster led police to an industrial park on 142nd Street. “Two people were immediately arrested and six others were cuffed later when found hiding in the rafters of the building,” Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported. Police rescued 10 pit bulls.

    • October 2012 – Springfield, Georgia: Dogfighter Simone Lamar, 26, was arrested after a work crew discovered “a cooler with a decomposed dog inside of it behind [Lamar’s] mobile home,” the Effingham Herald reported. Police found four pit bulls behind the home and a search warrant revealed “a treadmill for dogs, restraint devices, padlocks, chains, cable cords used to wrap around the dogs’ necks, vitamins and other unknown solutions with syringes that were injected into the dogs.”

    • August 2012 – Louisville, Kentucky: Dogfighter Darryl Broadus, 53, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty in the first degree and three counts of animal cruelty in the second degree, and police seized five dogs and 15 puppies. “Police reports indicated one female dog had multiple open wounds, two of which went down to the muscle,” WLKY reported. “It also had scarring from previous injuries.”

    • July 2012 – Donaldsonville, Louisiana: A 24-year-old pregnant woman, Brittany Ward, and Joseph Duncan, 28, were charged with dogfighting and animal cruelty after police spotted “several dogs in the backyard with chains around their necks and no access to food or water,” WAFB reported. “Police said two of the dogs had scabs that appear to be from fighting. Another dog was found dead with bite marks and duct tape around its muzzle. Detectives said it is typical for a dog to be used as bait in a fighting ring.” Four pit bulls and a small dog were confiscated.

    • June 2012 – Antelope Valley, California: Kevin Thomas and 11 other men were arrested. Police rescued four pit bulls and confiscated a treadmil.

    • April 2012 – Dayton, Ohio: Dogfighter Michelle Orrender, 35, was arrested after police “found 18 dogs at the home, including 17 pit bulls, some of which had been injured or had their ears cut with scissors, according to a police report. Police found also a treadmill with pawprints on it, blood spatters on the walls, a parting stick, chewed tires, medications and syringes and an arena in the basement,” according to Dayton Daily News. Orrender was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

    • October 2011 – Blue Ash, Ohio: After a neighbor reported dogfighting to police, William Morton Stone Jr., 36, and Michael James Ellsworth, 22, were arrested and 13 pit bulls and a pit bull puppy were removed from the property. “A lot of the dogs had scars on their facial and neck area which would be consistent with dogs that get into a fight,” said Chief Chris Wallace.

    • May 2011 – Atmore, Alabama: Dogfighters Terrell McNeil, 29, and Terrence McNeil, 29, twin repeat offenders, were arrested during a traffic stop when police spotted an injured pit bull in the vehicle. “A search of the vehicle also turned up syringes filled with an unknown substance as well as other paraphernalia that is consistent with dog fighting and the treatment of dogs,” the Atmore Advance reported. Terrence had been arrested in June 2008 after a tip led police to investigate “a planned dogfight off North Sunset Drive in Atmore. While out on bond from the June arrest, McNeil was arrested a second time in September 2008 as the result of an undercover investigation in Autauga County near Prattville.” Terrell was arrested during that September 2008 investigation as well.

    • March 2011 – Monroe, Michigan: Twenty-four people from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Georgia were arrested for attending a dogfight.

    • December 2010 – Baltimore, Maryland: Dogfighters Aaron Mack, Jessica Deans, and Melvin Fuller were each charged with 42 counts of animal cruelty after police found six injured pit bulls, a treadmill, and heavy chains in their basement, according to Baltimore’s CBS station.

    • August 2010 – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Dogfighters Martin W. Laluz, 39, and Daryl C. Klotz Jr., 20, were arrested after selling a pit bull and two puppies to undercover investigators “with the understanding that the dogs had been bred to fight,” The Roanoke Times reported.

    • March 2010 – Corvallis, Oregon: Dogfighters Cody Allan Hufeld, 32, and Victoria Louise McKenna, 29, were arrested after a marijuana investigation led police to find 15 scarred and injured pit bulls, three dead dogs, and dogfighting journals, or “underground newspapers” about dogfighting, and evidence of correspondence with “godfather of dogfighting” Ed Faron in North Carolina, who police rescued 127 dogs from, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported. Hufeld was sentenced to 41 months in prison. McKenna, who the state accused of aiding and abetting, was ultimately sentenced to 15 months after credit for three months served, according to the Gazette-Times.

    • February, April and May 2009 – Gilman City, Missouri: Dogfighters Rick Hihath, Cris Bottcher, Jill Makstaller (from Perry, Iowa), Julio Reyes (from Tecumseh, Nebraska), Zachary Connelly (from Ogden, Iowa), Kevin Tasler (from Jefferson, Iowa) and Ryan Tasler (from Woodward, Iowa) participated in dogfights on Bottcher’s farm. Court records specify roles. For example, Hihath and Bottcher “constructed the fighting pit/box for the dog fights,” Hihath served as referee, and Ryan Tasler acted as spongeman during one fight. According to an FBI press release, Bottcher worked as a registered nurse for Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany, Missouri. Hihath, a 56-year-old teacher for “a state school for the handicapped,” was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison. Bottcher, 49, killed dogs and was sentenced to the maximum possible punishment: 14 months in prison. He reportedly said he didn’t know why he did what he did, but he grew up killing livestock and didn’t believe animals had souls.

    • September 2008 – Prattville, Alabama: Dogfighters Terrance McNeil, Terrell McNeil, Shantay Robinson and Patrice Marshall were arrested. Police rescued 20 dogs and 7 puppies after an investigation involving the Autauga County Sheriff’s office, the Department of Agriculture, the District Attorney’s office and the Attorney General’s office, WSFA reported. Each person was charged with 27 counts [one count per dog] of permitting dogfighting.

    • June 2008 – Atmore, Alabama: Dogfighters Terrance McNeil and John Stallworth were arrested before a planned dogfight could even take place. A tip led police to N. Sunset Drive, where “they found a pit, portable generators for lighting and other dogfighting parpahanelia,” WSFA reported. They rescued two dogs from that location and 12 from a second location later that day. McNeil was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    • June 2008 – Cincinnati, Ohio: Terry Kendrick, 47, was sentenced to 13.5 years after a March 2007 raid in Dayton resulted in the arrest of 19 people, including Kendrick, who was charged with 18 counts of dogfighting and marijuana trafficking. “Kendrick’s lawyers argued for a shorter sentence, saying Kendrick is a father, grandfather and active member of the community, working with young men in amateur boxing, and is involved in his church,” Fox 19 reported.

    • February 2008 – Tucson, Arizona: Emily E. Dennis, 63, Terry Williams, 52, Robert C. Smith, 55, Juan Verdin, 39, his wife, Zenaida Verdin, 35, and Mahlon T. Patrick, 63, “a man believed to be among the top three breeders of fighting dogs in the country,” reported, were all arrested after a van transporting fighting dogs in Chicago shifted the investigation to Tucson. Police seized 150 dogs from various properties, treadmills, antibiotics, financial records and weapons.

    • October 2007 – Moultrie, Georgia: Xavier Barber, 25, was charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty, dogfighting and obstruction after police “found seven adult dogs, five puppies, and two midsized dogs, all malnourished and injured, outside a home at 805 First Avenue Southwest,” WALB reported.

    • August 2007 – Portland, Oregon: Dogfighter Robert Lee Sheahart, 38. was arrested after police rescued 11 pit bulls, including four puppies, and “seized equipment commonly used to train dogs to fight such as special collars, bite grips and treadmills,” the Argus Observer reported. According to Deputy District Attorney Mark McDonnell, “Sheahart ran a company called Dead Game Kennels, which he promoted on the Web and on a car, which carried the Web site address as well as a depiction of fighting dogs and people betting.”

    • July 2007 – South Holland, Illinois: Dogfighter Kevin Taylor was arrested and 37 dogs were removed from a soundproofed barn “after a neighbor told authorities that fighting dogs were being bred and raised in the home,” the Daily Illini reported. In 2011, Taylor was sentenced to three years in prison for the largest dogfighting bust in Illinois history and the fourth largest in U.S. history, per the Daily Illini.

    • January 2003 – Columbus, Ohio: Forty-one people, including 10 from Buffalo, New York, were arrested after 25 police officers and SWAT team members shot their way through the front door of “an auto body shop that never seemed to be open” to raid a dogfight. They rescued eight dogs, including two that “needed emergency medical attention” and confiscated over $25,000, handguns and drugs, according to the Buffalo News. Jemar T. Harris, 27, Ronald E. Miller, 24, Otis Bishop, 56, Tiffany Monique Johnson, 21, John T. Wesley, 21, and Changa D. Harris, 27, hailed from Buffalo, Otis Bishop, 26, Tyrone E. Ferguson, 29, and Jason H. Gilcrest, 26, attended from Amherst, and Shawn E. Boyette, 29, visited Columbus from Kenmore, New York. Buffalo police and the SPCA were well familiar with Otis Bishop’s family as well as Johnson, Ferguson and Boyette, SPCA spokeswoman Gina Browning told the Buffalo News.

Inbred Pitbulls on Anabolic Steroids: Why the HEART Act Signals It’s Time to Cancel the ASPCA

Valentine’s Day of 2019 and again in March 2021, the ASPCA published press releases thanking Sens. Kamala Harris and Susan Collins and Reps. Judy Chu and John Katko for introducing and re-introducing the HEART (Help Extract Animals from Red Tape) Act, which would enable pitbulls seized from dogfighters to be adopted faster. “Animals who have been rescued from cruelty and abuse deserve to be placed in loving homes as soon as it is safely possible,” Sen. Collins said in one release. “Based on recommendations by the Department of Justice’s Animal Cruelty Roundtable, the HEART Act would reduce the minimum amount of time animals must be held in shelters…” Sen. Collins based her statement on recommendations rather than research. Here’s what a little googling reveals: The ASPCA knows pitbulls have been inbred for hundreds of years. The ASPCA also knows dogfighters dope their dogs with anabolic steroids. With that in mind, here are three reasons it’s time to cancel the ASPCA.

Reason 1: Dogfighters Pump Their Pitbulls Full of Anabolic Steroids That Encourage Aggressiveness

The ASPCA knows dogfighters inject their pitbulls with anabolic steroids. This fact is mentioned in several places on the ASPCA’s website:

  • A Closer Look at Dogfighting: “The conditioning of dogfighting victims may also make use of a variety of legal and illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Narcotic drugs may also be used to increase the dogs’ aggression, increase reactivity and mask pain or fear during a fight.”
  • The Criminal, Underground World of Dogfighting: “They are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness.”
  • We Need to Break the Chain on Dogfighting (written by ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker): “They are regularly conditioned with drugs, including anabolic steroids, to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness.”
  • What Is Dog Fighting, and What Can You Do To Stop It? “The conditioning of fighting dogs may make use of a variety of legal and illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Narcotic drugs may also be used to increase the dogs’ aggression, increase reactivity and mask pain or fear during a fight.”

What information is repeated in each of those bullet points? Anabolic steroids encourage aggressiveness.

Dogfighters don’t just inject their dogs with anabolic steroids, they talk about it on pitbull forums such as, and

Anabolic steroids cause long-standing changes in the brain,” Sanna Kailanto, PhD, Senior Researcher for the National Institute for Health and Welfare, reported for the A-Clinic Foundation, which aims to prevent and reduce “substance abuse and mental health issues as well as other social and health-related issues.” Which areas of the brain do anabolic steroids affect? “[C]entres that regulate mood, sexuality and aggression,” Kailanto wrote. “It is known that anabolic steroid abuse in high doses may impair a number of organs and functions, causing both physical and psychological illnesses. It is noteworthy that many of these symptoms are found to be long-lasting even after discontinuation of using these compounds. Large doses have been demonstrated to induce programmed cell death in many cell types, including neuronal cells. This may result in irreversible changes in the nervous system.” Harrison G. Pope Jr., MD, co-director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, found that “[t]he body can never be rid of them because users are typically injecting long-acting steroids regularly throughout their cycle. As a result, there’s never a break. The body has no moment to rest from the effects. That is quite different from most drugs that are abused. And that’s why we worry that steroids might have unique forms of toxicity that we don’t typically see with other drugs of abuse.”

In a study that WebMD shared, Northeastern University researcher Jill M. Grimes found that “hamsters given daily, high doses of anabolic steroids throughout adolescent development were more overtly aggressive in their interactions with other hamsters — especially if they were not used to dealing with other hamsters.” This is how pitbulls are raised:

Dogfighters and people breeding pitbulls for dogfighters separate the dogs so they don’t kill each other.

To study the effect of anabolic steroids on hamsters, Grimes injected six preadolescent male hamsters with steroids for a month. “The doses mimicked a ‘heavy use’ regimen that an adolescent athlete might follow,” WebMD said. Six hamsters “with low-aggression tendencies” received no steroid injections.

At the end of the month, Grimes placed a hamster that didn’t receive anabolic steroid injections into the cage of a hamster that did. During 10-minute observation periods, Grimes counted the number of “attacks and bites, including wild pursuits, lunges, and ‘cornering’ with intent to bite,” WebMD said. “As her previous tests have shown, animals treated with anabolic steroids were significantly more aggressive — making more attacks and bites than their littermates. One-half of the steroid-treated hamsters scored more than 20 total attacks. They were also quicker to attack, and stayed at it longer.”

Unlike Chihuahuas and other dog breeds that so-called pitbull advocates compare pitbulls to during arguments about BSL laws, pitbulls don’t just bite. They attack and keep attacking.

Four months after roid rage began trending in the news in 2007 because WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife, his 7-year-old son and himself, ABC NEWS in Australia reported the results of a study on athletes who’d taken anabolic steroids in East Germany in the ’70s and ’80s. “None of the athletes had known that they were taking anabolic steroids,” the site said. Twenty-five percent of the athletes got cancer. Many of their children suffered birth defects. Two-thirds of the athletes cut themselves or harmed themselves in other ways. Some attempted suicide. A study of 700 athletes revealed mental health problems among anabolic steroid users as well.

“Every doping agent, every doping pharmaceutical has side effects. We see that very clearly,” said Humboldt University Associate Professor Giselher Spitzer. “Many athletes, or many body builders for example, fitness athletes, say, ‘It is my body, and I’ll do what I want’. It is not the truth, it’s not only your body, it is the second generation, and we don’t know what will be of the third generation.”

Another Reason It’s Time to Cancel the ASPCA: The ASPCA Knows Pitbulls Have Been Inbred for Hundreds of Years and Inbreeding Causes Behavioral Problems in Dogs

Incest is illegal for a reason.

During the 2007 Michael Vick investigation, NPR reported that dogfighting originated in 43 A.D. with the Romans. “Historical accounts date as far back as the 1750s, with professional fighting pits proliferating in the 1860s,” the ASPCA says on its own website. That same page mentions bloodlines: “There are many reasons people are drawn to dogfighting. The most basic is greed. Major dogfight raids have resulted in seizures of more than $500,000, and it is not unusual for $20,000 – $30,000 to change hands in a single fight. Stud fees and the sale of pups from promising bloodlines can also bring in thousands of dollars.” That being said, the ASPCA knows dogfighters and people breeding pitbulls for them use rape stands to force the dogs to breed these bloodlines. The ASPCA even displayed a rape stand at the Crime Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2013. In October 2017, the ASPCA rescued 36 pitbulls from “Operation Bloodline,” an investigation that began that March. Many dogfighters are busted with charts chronicling the lineage and breeding histories of their dogs. The internet is full of kennels outlining pitbulls’ history, from who owned a particular pitbull to the dog that pitbull was bred with and the results of that breeding. For example, “Vernon Jackson had a dog that he purchased from Don Mayfield that he called Hank,” APBT World states. “He was inbred Mayfield Lightning II blood. Hank didn’t start till he was 3 years old, but when he did; he not only turned out to be a phenomenal performer but an exceptional producer as well.”

“[Champion] Crenshaw’s Honeybunch R.O.M. was born at Maurice Carver’s Kennel and was daughter of famed Walling’s Bullyson R.O.M and Carver’s Amber R.O.M. Both dogs belonged to Maurice Carver. … Honeybunch established her reign in dog fighting winning 3 games against the best bitches of that time.”

A lengthy list of dogfighting bloodlines can be found here, by googling the phrase Gr Ch or by searching for names like:

  • BOUDREAUX’ ELI, who “is without question one of the most famous of modern dogs from the 60’s era. He and his sons Eli Jr. (sire of Gr. Ch. Art.-grandsire of Chinaman, Stompanato, Crenshaw’s Ch. Rascal etc.) and Bullyson (sire of Ch. Honeybunch, Midnight Cowboy and Chivo, Loposay’s Buster etc.) were used to create lines of their own and those in turn have spawned even more good lines of bulldogs. There is hardly a line of good dogs today that cannot trace its lineage back to the Eli dog. He was a product of inbreeding on Boudreaux’ old Blind Billy dog (Dibo X Minnie) with some Trahan’s Rascal (Dibo’s half brother) blood thrown in, both good Tudor/Corvino bred dogs. I believe Mr. Boudreaux is still producing some fine dogs and I have talked to dog men who wouldn’t have one from anyone else.”
  • CH. HONEYBUNCH ROM, who “was blessed with the amazing ability to bestow upon her offsprings [sic] her own ability to preform [sic] as well as produce. HONEYBUNCH was easy to breed, produce large litters of puppies ad [sic] raised most of them. This trait coupled with the uncanny ability to reproduce her likeness, has proclaimed her the greatest producer of all times.”

In addition to dogfighters and people breeding pitbulls for them, the internet is full of people discussing whether it’s okay to inbreed fathers with daughters, mothers with sons and granddaughters with grandfathers, etc.

Even the idiots inbreeding female dogs with their fathers repeat pitbull advocates’ it’s-all-in-how-you-raise-them mantra.

As ScienceABC states, “Inbreeding is the mating and production of an offspring between individuals who are genetically closely related and share a common ancestor.” Inbreeding not only causes health problems and disabilities, but it can cause temperament issues, as, which is overseen by a veterinary review board, states. “Puppies that are the product of inbreeding tend to have more nervousness, aggression, and unpredictability than those outbred.” echoes this: “Dogs that are inbred are sometimes much more aggressive than their mixed breed counterparts. This can result in behavioral problems including biting, chasing cars and other animals, escaping and playing too roughly, among many others.”

Pitbull advocates claim man-biters were culled [killed] to prevent them from having puppies that would grow up to become man-biting/man-mauling/man-killing pitbulls, but this, like the nanny dog myth, is a lie. “A person who had direct experience of Honeybunch’s incredible biting strength is Rex B. Rex the judge of one of her matches,” Central Coast Kennels states. “Whilst Irish Jerry was separating the two dogs by unfanging them with a breaking stick Honeybunch locked onto Rex’s thumb. The Good old Mountain Man had to replace Rex as a judge. Rex on the other hand, not the type of person to complain suffered in silence with the understanding of why the Hispanics call the thumb ‘the fat finger.'”

Pitbull Honeybunch wasn’t the only man biter being bred.
The National Pit Bull Victim Awareness database is full of man-biters. So is Twitter.
The Colby Bloodline: “Many dog enthusiasts, including myself up until now, have always been told that pitbulls were so friendly towards humans because man-biters were always culled or killed off when they showed any signs of human aggression. Unfortunately, I’ve found … this is simply untrue.”

The Third Reason It’s Time to Cancel the ASPCA: Like Dogfighters, Greed Drives the ASPCA’s Decisions

The ASPCA has made bad decisions since at least the 1970s. Many people would include the 2009 euthanization of a pitbull named Oreo, who “became something of a celebrity,” a Los Angeles Times blogger wrote, after her 19-year-old owner beat her and threw her from the roof of his six-story apartment building, but the ASPCA used to understand that some dogs are too aggressive to be adopted. The ASPCA euthanized Oreo, stating the pitbull had become aggressive toward humans and other dogs and it would be cruel to send her to a no-kill sanctuary such as Pets Alive, which volunteered to take her, so she could spend the rest of her life in solitary confinement. In response, Pets Alive’s executive co-director urged supporters to stop donating to the ASPCA, and pitbull advocates across the country signed a petition to remove ASPCA CEO Ed Sayres.

Changing of the guard: With Ed Sayres as the ASPCA’s CEO, the ASPCA hemorrhaged money: Negative 5M in 2012. This improved to -1M in 2013, when Matthew Bershadker took Sayres’ place.

The Oreo incident taught the ASPCA a valuable lesson — literally: Don’t piss off pitbull advocates.

Pitbull advocates are just as aggressive as the dogs they defend.

After Sayres stepped down years later, the ASPCA turned pro-pitbull, particularly the Oreo-colored kind, in just about every photo op with new CEO Matthew Bershadker:

Easy to tweet when Bershadker flies first class and won’t be sharing a cabin with any of the 89 inbred, steroid-filled pitbulls taken from dogfighters in New York or the 150 inbred, steroid-filled pitbulls taken from dogfighters in Georgia.

Today, as the ASPCA cons politicians into repealing pitbull bans, as dogfighting increases across the country and as the number of people and pets being mauled and killed by pitbulls increases, the ASPCA rakes in millions, with CEO Matthew Bershadker taking home nearly $1M per year himself.

If pitbulls make such great family pets, “noted for their affection and loyalty,” per Matthew Bershadker’s 2018 tweet directed at Delta Airlines, why did his family adopt a lab?

Because pitbulls are okay for your children, not his.

Search Google Images for: child attacked by pitbull. There are girls in this country who will never have #iwokeuplikethis or #nofilter days because of a dog that people shouldn’t have even had.
“Fights can last just a few minutes or several hours, and both animals may suffer injuries including puncture wounds, lacerations, blood loss, crushing injuries and broken bones.” – ASPCA
Unfortunately for the cats and kittens being killed to train them and to initiate fights, there’s nothing left of them to photograph.

Further Reading:

BSL Laws and Pitbull Bans: Questions Politicians Need to Ask Before They Repeal Them

The ASPCA defines breed-specific legislation (BSL laws) as “the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals.” Abilene, Kansas, banned pit bulls in 2017, according to the Abilene Reflector Chronicle. November 18, 2021, the National Pit Bull Victim Awareness organization, which regularly updates a database of people and pets who’ve been mauled and killed, tweeted that Abilene was considering lifting its ban because a dog trainer and apparent pit bull advocate emailed the city commission, saying Abilene is “missing out on extra money” it could be making by charging pit bull owners a fee. Millions of Americans got laid off during COVID quarantines and fell behind on bills. Many of those people are now being evicted and face future wage garnishments that, after taxes, will leave them with half their usual paycheck. The number of pets being euthanized each year, being “rehomed” via Craigslist, Facebook (Meta) and other apps, being abandoned and being returned to shelters post-pandemic has shown that people are not going to pay a fee to keep their pet. Neither are the increasing number of dogfighters or the tens of thousands of people breeding pit bulls for them and advertising those dogs on YouTube, where they discuss matches and bloodlines. Blinded by potential dollar signs, Abilene, Kansas’ city planning commission repealed its breed ban December 13, 2021 — the same day an Amazon delivery driver in Las Vegas risked her life to save a 19-year-old woman and her small dog from a pit bull attack. With that in mind, here’s the first question politicians should ask when pit bull advocates ask them to repeal BSL laws/breed bans:

Who’s Asking Me to Repeal BSL Laws/Pitbull Bans and Why?

The person who approached Abilene, Kansas’ city planning commission to repeal the city’s BSL law/pit bull ban was a dog trainer, according to a recap of meeting minutes. Whether she trained pit bulls for dogfighters like Vernon Vegas, who owned Cane Valley Kennels and “bred, trained, sold and transported dogs for the purpose of the dog fighting” between October 1996 and February 2020, according to the Department of Justice, or trained dogs at Petco, she had something to gain.

Vernon Vegas, 49, of Suwanee, Georgia, was convicted of training pit bulls for dogfighters in September 2021.

When I clicked on a Wyoming news station’s website to read about three pit bulls that burst through a window screen to attack a Corgi being walked by a woman and her 4- and 14-year-old children, the following ad for Sit Means Sit dog training appeared above the article.

An aptly placed ad.

Currently, Ottumwa, Iowa’s city council is considering repealing its breed ban against pit bulls because it received a petition with over 1,000 signatures. Petitions asking lawmakers to repeal BSL laws/pit bull bans could be signed by any number of people — dog trainers, dogfighters (using fictitious names and disposable email addresses), people breeding dogs for dogfighters, backyard breeders, people who own pit bulls (who may or may not be responsible pit bull owners) or lobbyists. Like Ohio farmers who lobbied Congress to avoid being held accountable for animal cruelty, preventing Ohio from making animal cruelty a felony for years as Goddard’s Law was redrafted several times, pit bulls have their own lobby who’s trying to prevent pit bulls like the three that attacked the Corgi mentioned above from being euthanized:

“The PR campaign is powered by lawyers, lobbyists — even corporate sponsors.”

If, after listening to Best Friends Animal Society attorney Ledy VanKavage, you still don’t believe that pit bulls have a lobby, consider this: despite gun violence and all of the problems we have in this country due to COVID, repealing pit bull bans that were enacted decades ago has been the focus of one city council agenda after another in rapid succession:

What Happened When Other Cities or States Repealed BSL Laws / Pitbull Bans? A Case Study in Ohio

Once upon a time, “Ohio was said to be one of the worst states for a pit bull or a bully-looking dog to be caught in,” DogStarDaily reported. In February 2012, “after 25 years of breed discriminatory legislation in the state of Ohio, Governor John Kasich signed HB14 into law ending breed discriminatory laws aimed at banning pit bulls and other ‘types’ of dogs deemed ‘dangerous.'” Two years later, feds raided a dogfight in Akron and arrested 47 people from five states, including California, and cities/suburbs all over Ohio.

These are dogfighting arrests/raids that occurred in Ohio and surrounding areas between 2019 and 2021:

This map doesn’t include people who had dogs seized and should have been arrested but weren’t.

The yellow check marks are recent additions: Battle Creek, Michigan, the Monday of Labor Day weekend 2021 and Erie, Pennsylvania, days before Halloween. In the former, a bait puppy was killed after being dropped between two pit bulls. In the latter, three pit bulls were walked into a reservoir, shot in the face and left to die. In November 2021, dogfighters in Luzerne Township, Pennsylvania, and Anderson, Indiana, were added to the map. Both border Ohio.

“A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Eric Demond Holcomb, 41, of 1115 First St., Luzerne Township. His brother, James Edward Holcomb, 44, of 1203 Second St., Brownsville, was arrested in July on the same [dogfighting] charges.”
“Authorities seized eight dogs, six chickens, and fighting paraphernalia from the property. The dogs were all pit bulls and had untreated injuries as well as no food and either no water or dirty water. One dog … “had a deformed leg, that an examiner said was indicative of a break that was not treated.”

Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was one of the 47 people arrested at the 2014 dogfight in Akron mentioned above. He was given a year of probation. While on probation, he was arrested for dogfighting again and sentenced to 10 months in prison. Despite both judges forbidding him from owning dogs, he had 11 injured dogs and one dead dog when police busted him during a drug investigation that turned up 112 grams of heroin, 21 grams of cocaine, over 400 prescription pills and $8,591 cash in January 2020. As of January 2022, he still has not gone on trial.

Dogfighters travel like sports teams. It takes an unbelievable level of audacity to ask a judge to “modify terms of GPS supervision,” but this dogfighter in Georgia not only got a slap on the wrist, he was awarded a $20,000 COVID relief loan from the federal government, so, hey, why not try?

Six years after former governor John Kasick repealed Ohio’s pit bull bans, a article titled “Dogfighting a Growing, Secret Problem in NE Ohio,” revealed dogfights “go on all over the city every weekend … They are like boxing matches, the money gets bigger every time a dog wins. People come into the city from all over for them.”

What Happens When Suburbs Repeal BSL Laws / Pitbull Bans?

Cleveland, Ohio, suburb Rocky River repealed its BSL law in 2018. Two years later, a pit bull attacked a Rocky River resident’s dog, causing “neck and throat injuries.” In May 2021, a Rocky River woman’s pit bull attacked her in her apartment. Less than a week later, two loose pit bulls attacked a man and his dog in nearby Rocky River Reservation.

In November 2020, Denver residents voted to repeal the city’s 31-year-old BSL law/breed ban that was enacted in 1989 because, as NBC News reported, “20 people were attacked by pit bulls in Colorado between 1984 and May 1989.” A month after Denver repealed its BSL law, two unleashed pit bulls killed a terrier mix that was left tethered in a family’s front yard for a few minutes. The mother of that family, Veronda Smith, wondered “how a registered unleashed pit bull would’ve caused less harm,” CBS said.

“I’m a little uncertain about how the guidelines and the new ordinances are going to keep us safe,” Smith said. “They’re relying on the owners to be honest and I feel like every week I see another pit bull in the neighborhood.”

Six months after her statement, like a Fort Collins, Colorado, pit bull that barged into a family’s home to kill a cat in 2009, two unleashed pit bulls made a beeline for — and killed — an 11-year-old cat sleeping on her family’s porch.

Notice: The cat’s on a leash.

Aurora, Colorado, an eastern suburb of Denver, repealed its own pit bull ban in January 2021. Two months later, a pit bull adopted from Aurora Animal Shelter grabbed the family’s 5-year-old son by the face. “The boyfriend had to grab the jaws of the dog and remove him from the boy,” CBS Denver reported. Aurora City Council Member at Large Dave Gruber lamented the repeal but isn’t able to bring it up at a city council meeting “because he was in the minority vote.”

Imagine how scary it would be for a child — or anyone — to be grabbed by the face by a pit bull. Both Google Images and the National Pit Bull Victim Awareness’s pit bull attack database are full of children who’ve been disfigured and killed.

Numerous studies have shown the dangers that dog bites, particularly by pit bulls, present to children:

An increasing number of children, like the 14-month-old boy whose face was half-eaten by his babysitter’s pit bulls during the first 12 minutes of the following news program, don’t survive.

“The idea of banning pit bull-type dogs remains controversial in Canada and the U.S., but consider this: 32 countries around the world have decided the issue. They either outright ban pit bull-type dogs, ban their importation or severely restrict their ownership.”

Why Are Pitbulls Dangerous? They Were Created to Fight and Kill

Contrary to what many people believe, dogfighting is not “a cultural thing.” In other words, not all dogfighters are Black. Dogfighting dates back to 43 A.D., when the Romans invaded Britain and “both sides brought fighting dogs to the battlefield,” as NPR reported during the Michael Vick case in 2007. “Thus emerged a canine market of sorts. The Romans began to import British fighting dogs for use not only in times of war, but also for public amusement. In Rome’s Colosseum, large audiences would gather to watch gladiator dogs pitted against other animals, such as wild elephants. The vicious dogs, thought to have been crossbred with the Romans’ own fighting breed, were also exported to France, Spain and other parts of Europe, eventually finding their way back to Britain.

“By the 12th century, the practice of baiting — releasing fighting dogs into the ring with chained bulls and bears — had grown in popularity in England. … The practice, during which the dogs scratched and bit the bulls, was also used to tenderize meat for consumption. But by the early 19th century, the increasing scarcity and rising cost of bulls and bears, as well as growing concern about the issue of animal cruelty, damped the appeal of the sport. In 1835, the British Parliament outlawed all baiting activities. Following the law’s passage, dog-on-dog combat emerged as the cheaper, legal alternative to baiting. Fighting dogs were crossbred with other breeds to create a fast, agile and vicious animal capable of brawling for hours at a time.”

If you scroll through the comment section of the match mentioned in the first paragraph of this post or dogfighting-related press releases from the Department of Justice, you’ll see kennels. YouTube and the internet in general are FULL of kennels breeding particular bloodlines. As NBC reported after 10 dogfighters were arrested with 89 dogs on Long Island in August 2021: “[T]he pitbulls rescued were bred for one purpose only: to fight and kill. … Those involved would also sell puppies descended from dogs who were successful in past fights and were considered to have strong ‘bloodlines.'” During the Missouri 500 raid that spanned several states in 2009, investigators seized 407 dogs, 21 of which were pregnant and “gave birth to nearly 150 puppies.” 

Y’know what hasn’t appeared in Missouri news for years, thanks to BSL laws/pit bull bans in Missouri? Dogfighting.

Dogfighters even ship pit bulls around the world to be bred. “[Lansing, Michigan, dogfighter] Charles Miller paid $1,650 to transport a dog named Pantera to Michigan from Ecuador in January 2017, after Pantera was bred with a dog there,” the Lansing State Journal reported. Lansing is one of the red pinpoints on the map above.

Pit bull advocates say, without fail, “It’s not the breed, it’s the owner.” This is a cliche. A slogan. As former City of Los Angeles employee and CityWatch Los Angeles columnist Phyllis Daugherty wrote in a June 2021 article titled “Dog Fighting is Thriving in U.S. – Hundreds of Pit Bulls Seized in 2021,” “The importance of genetics cannot be denied unless we plan to shut down the AKC — which is the nation’s largest and most reliable insurer of bloodlines and the refinement of genetic traits by breeding because they know offspring will carry the traits of the parents.” 

How Are Pitbulls Trained to Fight and Kill? Dogfighters Sic Them on Dogs, Cats, Kittens, Rabbits and Other Small Animals That People Are “Rehoming” On Craigslist and Other Websites/Apps

Search Google for bait dog. Thanks to search engine optimization, one of the first results you’ll encounter is titled “Bait Dog Hysteria.” For years, pit bull advocates like Shaw Pit Bull Rescue in Mississippi have lied to people searching Google, telling them bait dogs are a myth. The ulterior motive lies in the owners’ URL: Pit bull advocates will say whatever they have to say to get cities and states to repeal bans that were enacted for a reason. Don’t believe that? Consider this: A study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science found that “41 [percent of surveyed shelter workers] affected by BSL indicated they would knowingly mislabel a dog of a restricted breed, presumably to increase the dog’s adoption chances.” The fact is: “Animals are tied up while the dogs tear them apart or sometimes they are confined in an area to be chased and mauled by the dogs,” per Michigan State University College of Law’s Detailed Discussion of Dogfighting.

In 1996, three Pompano Beach, Florida, teenagers tied a stray dog’s front legs together, duct taped its mouth shut and encouraged a pit bull to attack the dog, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. The stray had to be euthanized. “Police also seized the attack dog and numerous pit bull puppies from one of the suspect’s homes.” In 2007, New York dogfighters were busted with over 60 kittens.

Here in Cleveland, Ohio, in November 2020, I caught people collecting bait animals for dogfighter Angelo McCoy posting Craigslist ads seeking them and posting kittens for him to avoid sending texts and emails that would ping cell phone towers and be used as evidence.

I’ve also caught pit bull breeders selling Bolio dogs and other bloodlines.

Meet Colby.
Meet Eli.

I also caught Cleveland and Altoona, Pennsylvania, dogfighters communicating via Craigslist ads while people were posting COVID victims’ pets, trying to find them a loving home. God only knows how many cats across the country lost their owner, were driven away from their home and then handed to pit bulls.

A cat that was killed in Cleveland, Ohio, a few months after I took a letter to dogfighter Angelo McCoy’s judge. The photo was taken as her legs were tied together.
A cat that was killed in Akron, Ohio. Cats get scars like this from contraptions called catmills like this one:
Catmill/Jenny : The dogs are chained to one beam and another small animal like a cat, small dog, or rabbit, is harnessed to or hung from another beam. The dogs run in circles, chasing the bait. Once the exercise sessions are over, the dogs are usually rewarded with the bait they had been pursuing.” – Michigan State University College of Law
A tortoiseshell cat that was posted for dogfighters in Buffalo, New York.
“Bait dogs are basically like to turn your dog on. To give your dog a taste of blood.” — Dog Fight Chicago documentary

What’s Happening to Pitbulls to Prevent Them from Being Euthanized? Dogs That Were Bred to Fight and Kill and Injected with Anabolic Steroids Are Being Bounced from Shelter to Shelter, State to State and Country to Country

“The Fifth Estate” broadcast above shows pit bulls being shipped to Canada from California, where dogfighters Carlos Villasenor and Avery McLemore were busted in 2021 and 2019, respectively. In 2020, a North Carolina shelter director told reporters that dogfighters’ dogs “were hard to get into the cages, they were trying to eat each other, to eat any dog that came by … [A] very, very aggressive female … actually ate her way out of a cage, devouring the metal clips that hold the mesh wire to the frame of the kennel doors. … A male dog a few cages down was able to ‘bum-rush his way out by continuing to bang against the fence’ until the latch holding it bent and gave way.”

August 16, 2020, the three Wyoming pit bulls (above) that burst through a window screen to attack an 11-year-old Corgi were deemed to be “a threat to public safety,” “sent to a remediation program in Montana” and banned from returning to Wyoming “regardless of remediation success.”

City of Casper, Wyoming, press release about pitbulls attacking a Corgi.

Some “rescues” specialize in pit bull relocation:

Other rescues are lying about the breed they’re advertising, endangering people and pets:

Search Google Images for German shepherd mix. Do the results look like this face?

In September 2021, a pit bull aptly named Havoc attacked an Alabama woman. Although the court determined that Havoc is “a dangerous dog,” his owner was able to prevent him from being euthanized by filing a motion, which gave Havoc the opportunity to break out of his Guntersville Animal Hospital kennel to attack a dog.

Will I Be Helping Pitbulls by Repealing BSL Laws/Breed Bans?

The answer to this question is an emphatic no. Every city that repeals BSL laws/pit bull bans is a new city that enables people to breed pit bulls. As “The Fifth Estate” host Mark Kelley states at 22:10, “[I]n places where there are no restrictions, the pit bull population is exploding.”

Ohio has had a puppy mill problem for years. In both 2020 and 2021, it ranked No. 2 on The Humane Society of the United States’ “Horrible Hundred” list. The number of people breeding dogs skyrocketed during COVID layoffs. Within a 110-mile radius (an hour-and-45-minute drive) from Cleveland between late November 2020 and January 14, 2021, I counted the following on Craigslist:

  • 40 pit bull breeders; 
  • 65 breeders of other dogs; and
  • 63 ads for unwanted pit bulls.

Between October 1, 2021, and November 23, 2021, a shelter in Cincinnati, Ohio, took in 1,200 animals, stating “This is the most over capacity we’ve ever been, and I don’t think it’s going to slow down during the holidays.” Scrolling through the story on Facebook, many people commented on the number of pit bulls and pit mixes. Not everyone wants a pit bull or pit mix, so those people go to breeders, turning a deaf ear to #adoptdontshop.

“Pit bulls are more popular in urban communities, including Cleveland. Their appearance and the stigma surrounding it makes them good guard dogs. People breed dogs for some extra money, and pit bulls are the dogs they have.” In other words: the stigma that pit bull advocates complain about is the stigma that attracts people to buy the dogs.

Not only does repealing BSL laws/breed bans against pit bulls enable more people to breed pit bulls and set out a welcome mat for dogfighters, but dogs bred for dogfighters “literally suffer their entire lives,” as Hanna Gibson wrote for Michigan State University College of Law’s Animal Legal & Historical Center. They “spend their entire lives alone on chains or in cages and only know the attention of a human when they are being trained to fight and they only know the company of other animals in the context of being trained to kill them.”

Dogfighters like North Carolina dogfighters Desmond White and Maurice Baum, who kept 45 dogs at one location and 35 dogs at another, have dozens of pit bulls. They do not bring those dogs into their home during winter storms and other bad weather. Nine pit bulls were taken from two guys in Canada who’d left the dogs chained to doghouses when it was -30 degrees Celsius/-22 degrees Fahrenheit.

January 17, 2022, winter storm.

In addition to being tethered year-round, sometimes to chains that weigh more than they do, dogfighters’ pit bulls are deprived of food and water. When police do encounter water bowls, the water isn’t clean. In Mesa, Arizona, for example, police seized three dogs whose water “was covered with algae.” Water left outside in 32-degree weather would turn to ice.

Dogfighters’ pit bulls are also abused. “A few dogs had dental fractures with exposed pulp, which causes severe pain,” one Department of Justice press release reads. “One dog was missing a full portion of its cheek, which is a common wound obtained during fights when one dog’s tooth punctures the other’s cheek.  Another dog had a puncture wound that was ‘oozing red purulent material’ and healing scabs through his nose and right hock. The dogs also showed aggression during behavioral tests, often attacking the stuffed toy dog.” In another press release, a pit bull “was missing its right hind leg.”

This is how dogfighters treat their pit bulls.

Dogfighters’ pit bulls are killed. “Dogs not selected to continue fighting in ‘229 Boys Kennels, Inc.’ were exterminated by bludgeoning them in the head with a hammer, slamming them on the ground until dead, and by other inhumane methods,” a Department of Justice press release reported. Michael Vick’s dogs were “killed by electrocution, drowning, hanging or gunshots.”

Ultimately, dogfighters’ pit bulls and bait dogs are thrown out like garbage. In 2017, someone in Toledo, Ohio, saw a dog being thrown out of a pickup truck with garbage. The 2018 article mentioned above says police found “a mass grave of dogs in Akron” several years ago. “[T]he dogs, all bearing massive scarring from fights, were dumped down an embankment.” Here in Cleveland, “dead dogs are sometimes found on Train Avenue on Cleveland’s West Side, an area he called ‘a dumping ground for everything.'”

Alabama pit bull.

If I Repeal BSL Laws / Pitbull Bans, Can My City/State’s Police Handle Dogfighters?

For decades, the Humane Society of the United States has estimated there are over 40,000 dogfighters and people breeding dogs for them across the country. That amounts to 800 per state. Dogfighters are notoriously secretive, so police only bust one here, two there. Many, like Warren, Ohio, dogfighter Stanley Redd, Jr., are discovered by accident during months- or even years-long drug investigations. In November 2021, Texas police thought “light spotted about a half mile behind a mobile home” was a pasture party or hunters. It turned out to be dogfighters “with several rings that had been set up.” While they arrested Jesus Stephens, 100 people fled. “It’s mobile, they have trailers that they can trailer stuff in. They set up, they do their fighting of the dogs and then they just pack up, and [go],” Harrison County Chief Deputy Hall Reavis told reporters. As Multnomah County, Oregon’s animal shelter manager told reporters in 2019, prosecuting dogfighters is “extremely difficult. … You’ve got to catch them in the act or have enough paraphernalia to establish they truly were doing that.”

When I told Cleveland police that dogfighter Angelo McCoy and his friend on West 44th had posted Craigslist ads seeking animals their pit bulls could kill for practice, I was told not to worry about it because the City didn’t have the time or money to pursue it. Scroll through Cleveland’s police scanner Twitter account and you see shooting after shooting. In 2021, there were 433 carjackings in Cleveland, according to Fox 8 News. On New Year’s Eve, an off-duty police officer was killed during a carjacking. Across the country in Los Angeles County, homicides increased 94.24 percent from 2019 to 2021. Police have no shortage of crime to investigate and no incentive to spend months or years chasing dogfighters who, up North, are given slaps on the wrist like the 60 days in prison New York dogfighter Nasir Azmat recently received two years after his arrest and five months after his judge mysteriously recused himself. Compare that sentence to the nine years a Mississippi dogfighter was sentenced to in 2019 or the 20 years a Georgia dogfighter was sentenced to in 2020, and you’ll see the need for a mandatory minimum sentence to be passed across the country before more BSL laws and breed bans are repealed.

Why Did My City/ State Enact BSL Laws / Pitbull Bans?

If, like Ottumwa, Iowa, your city or state enacted BSL laws/breed bans against pit bulls because a pit bull killed someone, please note that Mayor Ed Koch repealed NYC’s pit bull ban in 1991. A January 8, 2022, New York Post article stated, “American Pit Bull Terriers and mixes accounted for 2,610 bites between 2015 and 2017” in New York City — “30 percent of all dog-bite victims.” In Denver, where pit bull bans were enacted because one pit bull killed a 3-year-old boy and another left a 59-year-old man “with more than 70 bites and two broken legs,” pit bulls “were responsible for more reported bites on people than any other breed in 2021″ — just one year after Denver repealed its ban. These dogs have not only been inbred for hundreds of years, but they’ve been pumped full of anabolic steroids. Read this research on anabolic steroids — or do your own — and you’ll see why pit bulls are attacking children and pets and why they suddenly turn on their owner after years of being a good doggo. You should also set up Google Alerts for pit bull, pitbulls, dogfighting and dogfight arrest and review:

Children walking to their bus stop shouldn’t have to fear they’ll be attacked by pit bulls as these children were:

Nor should disabled people with guide dogs:

Or people who are just trying to do their job.

Report Dogfighting: 10 Signs Your Neighbor Is Fighting Dogs (and Killing Dogs, Cats, Kittens and Rabbits)

After Cleveland, Ohio, dogfighter Angelo McCoy was arrested a third time in January of 2020, a neighbor told Fox 8 reporter Ed Gallek that he wondered who reported McCoy to the police, stating he hadn’t had the nerve. I’m happy to report that people in Detroit, Flint and Battle Creek, Michigan, did have the nerve and that it pays to have the nerve. The Humane Society of the United States offers a $5,000 reward to report dogfighting, and considering we have over 40,000 dogfighters and people breeding dogs for them scattered across the country, averaging 800 per state, you, a friend or a relative may live next to one and not even know it. Here are 10 signs your neighbor is fighting dogs (and killing dogs, cats, kittens, rabbits and other animals), whether you live in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Scotland, South Africa or the U.K.

1: Dogfighters Have a Lot of Dogs

January 15, 2020, South Carolina police arrested dogfighter Chasity Hammonds, 35, after an Atterbury Drive neighbor reported “a suspicious number of dogs” behind her house. Police rescued six pit bulls.

Usually, dogfighters have far more dogs than that. In June 2013, for example, police rescued 23 from San Antonio, Texas, dogfighter Terrence Mouton‘s property on Fest Road. Nine months earlier, they’d taken 36 from him. Georgia dogfighter James Lampkin, who was recently sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison, had 63 dogs in his back yard. Between November 2019 and March 2021, police took 107 dogs from Tacoma, Washington, dogfighter Elmer Givens Jr., who flat out told officers, “I’m not afraid of jail. I’ve been to jail, and as long as you ain’t charged me and convicted me, I’m gonna do whatever I want.”

2: Dogfighters Separate Their Dogs (So They Don’t Kill Each Other)

“[P]it bulls are ‘less tolerant’ of other dogs than many other breeds,” according to the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center vice president, Pamela Reid, PhD, so dogfighters and the people breeding dogs for them have to keep the dogs separated. A dog named Dylan killed his father, Scar, in “a yard accident,” per a South African website devoted to dogfighting. These are yards:

But dogfighters, like the 10 busted in New York in August 2021 and a guy who’s been repeatedly busted near Boston, also stack dogs on top of each other in basements, garages and sheds.

3: A Dogfighter’s Yard Has Crop Circles

Ever see the movie “Signs”?

Since dogfighters have to separate their dogs and tether them with heavy chains, their yard looks like Mel Gibson’s crop circles from a plane, helicopter or drone, which is how a neighbor helped bust the Tacoma, Washington, dogfighter mentioned above.

Crop circles in a Columbus, Ohio, dogfighter’s yard.

4. Dogfighters Replenish Their Supply of Pit Bulls with Rape Stands

As Slate explained during the Michael Vick case in 2007: “Pooches die so often in fights that owners always need new dogs. This is where the rape stand, also called a breeding stand, comes in. … The stand isn’t illegal, but dog breeders don’t normally use it; after all, female dogs in heat aren’t so particular. And most people wouldn’t want to breed poorly socialized dogs that must be strapped down to mate. But breeders of attack dogs place special value on females that are so mean they might bite any male dogs that get too close.” In fact, females have to be separated from their own puppies because they may kill them. In other words, see Nos. 2 and 3 above.

Rape stand seized as evidence.

5. Dogfighters’ Dogs Travel Like Sports Teams

A dogfighter owns a lot of dogs, but he or she isn’t fighting them against each other. Dogfighters take them on the road to fight other people’s dogs. The New York dogfighting arrest mentioned above led to the arrest of three people in Connecticut. In 2004, Georgia police arrested 123 people at a Newton County dogfight. “When deputies surveyed the area, they found more than 70 cars lining the street outside the house. Only two had Newton County tags. The other cars carried out-of-state or Middle Georgia county plates,” Clayton reported. In 2007, Chicago police stopped a van transporting fighting dogs. That investigation led to the arrest of six people in Tucson, Arizona. Indianapolis dogfighter Edward Bronaugh was busted with 11 dogs during a traffic stop nine hours away in Mississippi. This map, showing dogfighting arrests, raids, a Battle Creek investigation stemming from Labor Day weekend 2021 and pit bulls shot in the face in Erie, Pennsylvania, in October 2021 is a pretty good indicator they’re on the move between New York and Michigan. If you see someone loading pit bulls into a van, trailer or any other vehicle, take photos or at least report a description and license plate number to both police and feds. Dogfighting becomes a federal offense when dogfighters (or people breeding dogs for them) cross state lines.

6. Dogfighters’ Dogs Spend a Lot of Time Hanging by Their Teeth

Dogfighters and people breeding dogs for dogfighters strengthen pit bulls’ jaws by letting them hang from spring poles, which are “tug ropes attached to heavy-duty springs” that are secured to beams or tree branches. During dog fights, pit bulls latch onto each other for hours so having a strong jaw is important — until the opponent rips it off. After Christopher Lovett and Andrea Lanier were arrested for dogfighting in Georgia in May 2021, the chief deputy in the case described one dog as a “’zombie dog’ because most of the dog’s face was torn off, exposing bone.”  

7. Dogfighters’ Dogs Also Spend Time on Treadmills

Dogfighters can’t take their dogs for walks because they’ll kill any animal that crosses their path. YouTube is full of examples like this one:

Consequently, dogfighters build their dogs’ endurance by forcing them to run on treadmills, slat mills or carpet mills. Other animals don’t fare well on those either. After Louisiana dogfighter Eugene Grayer‘s neighbor reported him because she never saw him walking his 24 pit bulls and heard a lot of “barking, whimpering and [other] commotion,” animal control euthanized a raccoon he’d used as bait to motivate the dogs to keep running.

Treadmills seized from Long Island, New York, dogfighters.

Police found blood on Warren, Ohio, dogfighter Stanley Redd Jr.‘s treadmill in May 2021.

8. Dogfighters Have a Blood-Stained “Pit”

Warren, Ohio, police also found dogfighter Stanley Redd Jr.’s pit, which looks like a boxing or wrestling ring when constructed:

But is usually deconstructed and concealed like an Alabama dogfighter‘s pit:

9. Dogfighters in Your Neighborhood Might Also Own a Catmill

What’s a catmill? Precisely what it sounds like. “The dogs are chained to one beam and another small animal like a cat, small dog, or rabbit is harnessed to or hung from another beam. The dogs run in circles, chasing the bait,” Michigan State University College of Law says. “Once the exercise sessions are over, the dogs are usually rewarded with the bait they had been pursuing.” Columbus, Ohio, dogfighter Charles Granberry had catmills — plural.

10. The Most Obvious Sign Your Neighbor Is Fighting Dogs (and Killing Dogs, Cats, Kittens and Rabbits): They’re Fighting Dogs and Killing Dogs, Cats, Kittens and Rabbits

As I’ve repeated several times in this blog and dozens of times in tweets: dogfighters don’t look the way you expect them to look. If, from the 10 signs above, you suspect your neighbor is fighting dogs, please report that person to the police, the FBI or the Humane Society of the United States and help prevent more animals from being killed.

Department of Justice Dogfighting-Related Press Releases

If you haven’t scrolled through the increasing number of mugshots in “Recent Dogfighting Busts and Why They Matter to Cats and Kittens, Not Just Dogs,” I encourage you to because we have 40,000 dogfighters in the United States alone (which amounts to an average of 800 per state), and they’re killing the cats, kittens, rabbits and dogs that people have been posting on Craigslist, Facebook and other apps. You could help save a lot of lives by warning family, friends and people in community groups on social media that bait dogs, cats, kittens and other animals are not a myth as some BSL opponents want you to believe, that dogfighters don’t look how people expect them to look and that a dogfighting arrest in your city does not mean the dogfighter’s in prison or that police have “shut down” a dogfighting ring. It’s nice when the feds get involved because then they do go to prison — for years — and don’t get parole as you’ll see in the following Department of Justice dogfighting-related press releases.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — “According to court documents, [Antonio Casillas-Montero] and his co-conspirators (including one who has been living in Florida) have operated for over 30 years in Puerto Rico and elsewhere ‘Stone City Kennel,’ which breeds and fights pit-bull type dogs in the United States and internationally. Stone City Kennel has participated in over 150 dog fights in locations that have included Puerto Rico, México, Ecuador, Perú, the Dominican Republic, New Jersey and New York.  In 2020, Casillas explained that Stone City is ‘Me [and] my partner in Florida.’ …

“During the course of the conspiracy, Casillas trained dogs in Puerto Rico for fights.  This included using steroids on the fighting dogs, including winstrol, metenolone, and sustanon.  Casillas also would chain pit-bull type dogs to treadmills to walk or run for miles. 

Casillas sometimes sent his dogs outside of the United States to be conditioned for fighting.  This included sending dogs to St. Croix and Ecuador.  Some of the reasons were, according to Casillas, the risk associated with conditioning the dogs in the United States and that he had friends abroad who worked the dogs well.  The Dominican Republic was the location of several dog fights, where Casillas traveled.  …  Dog fights could last over an hour.

“The defendant sold pit-bull type dogs for animal fighting ventures, including a female ‘champion’ (a dog who has won around three fights) for approximately $20,000.  Other dog sales were negotiated for prices ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, with shipment to the continental United States via airplane cargo for $200, in addition to the veterinary and kennel expenses. Casillas encouraged potential buyers to fly to Puerto Rico to pick up the dogs in his possession.”

SOUTH CAROLINA — On Saturday [September 24, 2022], officers with the operation interrupted a scheduled dogfighting match in Richland County. The following morning, the officers executed 23 search warrants at various residences and properties in Richland, York, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Lee, and Sumter counties that were known dogfighting kennels or associated with dogfighting. In total 305 dogs [275 pitbulls; 30 beagles — probably from the Envigo beagle rescue in July/August] were rescued … The Humane Society of the United States and Bark Nation supported the operation by assisting with animal handling and are currently assisting with the care of the animals. During the weekend operation, officers seized approximately 30 firearms, $40,000 in cash, and various evidence related to dogfighting. More than 20 individuals were arrested for state charges relating to animal cruelty and dogfighting. – September 2022

CLEVELAND/AKRON, OHIO — Dogfighter Ronald Smith, 39, who has homes on Fultz Street and Herman Avenue in Akron, was charged with “15 counts of possession and training of dogs for the purposes of an animal fighting venture; conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance; distribution of a controlled substance; possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm” after U.S. Marshals arrested him in June. They’d posted a reward for information leading to his arrest in May. Evidence against Smith includes:

  • two treadmills for dogs;
  • “a caged rabbit placed in front of a treadmill;
  • performance-enhancing and first-aid-related dog medication;
  • numerous “break sticks” spattered with blood and bearing teeth marks; and
  • a walled pit spattered with blood” at both homes.

Investigators seized eight “pitbull-type dogs” from one home and seven from the other. They also seized oxycodone and fentanyl.

“Smith is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous convictions of aggravated assault, burglary, possession of cocaine, trafficking heroin, having weapons under disability and disrupting public services in the Summit and Medina County Courts of Common Pleas,” the DOJ reported. – July 2022

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA — “Beginning in November 2019, law enforcement investigated a criminal organization involved in dog fighting based out of Richmond and extending into Baltimore, Maryland. In late 2020, law enforcement agents executed three residential search warrants in Virginia and one residential search warrant in Maryland and seized numerous dogs that were being used for organized dogfighting, together with dog-fighting paraphernalia, firearms and ammunition. During the investigation, [Raymond L.] Johnson communicated with his co-conspirators about breeding and fighting dogs, past dog fights, coordination of upcoming dog fights, and other topics detailing the business and the brutality of dogfighting.” – March 2022

MACON, GEORGIA – “A well-known dog-fighting trainer and breeder has pleaded guilty to a federal animal fighting charge as the result of an ongoing investigation into a significant multi-state dog fighting and drug trafficking ring. Vernon Vegas, 49, of Suwanee, Georgia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture before U.S. District Judge Tilman E. ‘Tripp’ Self, III on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Vegas faces a maximum five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for December 7, 2021.” – September 2021

ALBANY, GEORGIA – “The last four of 12 defendants convicted on federal dog fighting charges were sentenced to federal prison on Friday. Leslie Meyers aka Les, 45, of Tallahassee, Florida, was sentenced to serve a total of 123 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act and unlawful possession of a handgun by a person with a prior felony conviction. Kizzy Solomon aka Kizzy Andrews, 44, of Camilla, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison after a federal jury convicted her on Tuesday, June 22, of 15-counts of aiding and abetting the possession and training of dogs for purposes of an animal fighting venture. Orlando Johnson aka OJ and Juiceman, 35, of Americus, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act. Kevin Charles aka Trinidad, 45, of Jackson, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act.

“The following co-defendants were sentenced to prison after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act:

  • Kentre Gibson aka Gipp, 40, of Douglas, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 21 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release on July 21;
  • Terry Driggers, 71, of Hoboken, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 17 months in prison to be followed by two years of probation on July 22;
  • Maurice Glover, 48, of Douglas, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release on July 22;
  • Starlin Morgan, 39, of Plains, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 11 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release on July 21; and,
  • Timothy White, 51, of Patterson, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 11 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release on July 21.

“The following co-defendants were sentenced after pleading guilty to attending an animal fighting venture (misdemeanor):

  • Germany Brockington aka Rat and Gator, 34, of Ambrose, Georgia, was sentenced to serve seven months in prison consecutive to his current prison sentence on Aug. 17;
  • Alonza Jordan, 48, of Americus, Georgia, was sentenced to serve three months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release on July 21; and,
  • Shadon Johnson, 37, of Fitzgerald, Georgia, was sentenced to serve two years of probation on July 21.” – September 2021

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA:  “A Georgia man has been sentenced in federal court in connection with a dog-fighting ring broken up in 2018 in Dodge County. Benjaman Shinhoster III, a/k/a ‘Benji,’ 41, of Louisville, Ga., was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to Sponsoring and Exhibiting a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture, said Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. also ordered Shinhoster to pay a fine of $2,500 and to serve three years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.” – August 2021

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA:  “All of the defendants charged in connection with a dog-fighting ring broken up in 2018 in Dodge County have admitted guilt to federal charges now that the operator of the dog-fighting facility has pled guilty.” – July 2021

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – “Four defendants pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to federal dogfighting and conspiracy charges for their roles in an interstate dogfighting network across the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey.” – June 2021

PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA – “A federal grand jury returned a 27-count indictment today against Carlos Villasenor, 38, of Placerville, charging him with possession of dogs for use in an animal fighting venture, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. According to court documents, on June 17, law enforcement agents executed a federal search warrant at Villasenor’s property and seized 27 pit bull type-dogs, one of whom had injuries to its face consistent with an attack from another dog. Many of the dogs also had untreated veterinary conditions. Numerous implements of the dog fighting trade were found on the property, including a breeding stand, treadmills, and veterinary supplies including skin staplers, antibiotics, syringes, and IV bags. Investigators also found paperwork indicating that Villasenor owned dogs used in dog fighting.” – June 2021

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – “Jermaine Hadley, 32, of Quincy, Florida, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on Friday, June 4, 2021. Hadley headed a drug trafficking organization affiliated with a violent gang in the Gadsden County, Florida area that was responsible for the distribution of over 50 kilograms of methamphetamine, over 15 kilograms cocaine, MDMA, possession of illegal firearms, in addition to facilitating a largescale dogfighting ring throughout the north-central Florida Panhandle between 2018 and 2019. … A total of 21 defendants were arrested and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing from the long-term investigation into drug trafficking and dogfighting …” – June 2021

DUBLIN, GEORGIA:  “Three of seven defendants have admitted in court to participation in a dog-fighting operation broken up in 2018 in Dodge County. Benjamin Shinhoster III, 41, of Augusta; Deveon Hood, 34, of Tennille, Ga.; and Andre Archer, 23, of Sandersville, Ga., entered guilty pleas today [Wednesday, May 26] before U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr., said Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. Shinhoster pled guilty to Sponsoring and Exhibiting a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture, while Hood and Archer each pled guilty to Conspiracy. Each of the charges carries a statutory penalty of up to five years in prison, with substantial financial penalties and up to three years of supervised release after completion of any prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.” – May 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – “Marcus Etienne, a/k/a ‘Hitler,’ and Mario Robinson were sentenced today to 34 and 32 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentences were handed down by the Honorable William Alsup, U.S. District Judge. The sentences follow guilty pleas by both defendants. According to their plea agreements, Etienne, 39, of St. Martin Parish, La., and Robinson, 37, of Opelousas, La., and Oakland, Calif., were involved in an enterprise based in St. Martin Parish consisting of more than seven members who conducted a continuing and extensive narcotics distribution conspiracy. Etienne admitted that he was the leader of the enterprise beginning as early as 2009. The defendants both acknowledged that the enterprise engaged in narcotics distribution, assault, robbery, extortion, extortionate collection of extensions of credit, murder for hire, murder, money laundering, illegal firearms possession, gambling on dogfighting, and obstruction of justice. Robinson further admitted that in 2015, he moved from California to Louisiana and began receiving marijuana from the enterprise to distribute in Louisiana.” – October 2020

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – “Antoine Clayborne, 42, formerly of Pearl, Mississippi, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge David Bramlette III to 36 months’ probation for his participation in a pit bull dog fighting venture, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Dax Roberson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.  Clayborne was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.” – July 2020

MACON, GEORGIA – “Eleven federal search warrants were executed Wednesday morning related to suspected violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and drug trafficking, resulting in the rescue of 168 canines, announced Charles ‘Charlie’ Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.” – February 2020

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – “United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Santerrio Montinez Smith, age 32, of Columbia, was convicted by a federal jury on a dog fighting charge after a day-and-a-half long trial before United States District Judge Mary G. Lewis. The jury took just two hours to find Smith guilty. This was Smith’s second federal conviction this year; in August, he was convicted after trial for distributing and conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin. Smith was convicted of Buying, Possessing, Training, Transporting, and Receiving Animals for Purposes of Having the Animals Participate in an Animal Fighting Venture. He faces a maximum possible penalty of 5 years in prison for his conviction.” – October 2019

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – “Five individuals were arrested yesterday on a 44-count federal indictment charging violations of the dogfighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and conspiracy to commit those violations.” – September 2019

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – “A federal grand jury returned an indictment, unsealed today, charging eight defendants with 83 counts of federal dogfighting offenses stemming from an investigation into drug trafficking and a large-scale illegal dogfighting operation involving approximately 100 dogs. The indictment was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.” – June 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – “Robert Arellano, 65, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was sentenced today in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, to a total of four years in prison for his role in a multi-state dog fighting conspiracy. Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey made the announcement.” – April 2019

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – “United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Tony Shuler, a/k/a ‘T Rock,’ age 47, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty in September to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition, and to Buying, Possessing, Transporting and Receiving an Animal for Participation in an Animal Fighting Venture.” – February 2019

NEW YORK CITY (THE BRONX), NEW YORK –  “In August 2018, the Office secured the first-ever trial conviction of a dog fighter on federal animal cruelty charges.  The defendant, Rasheem Richardson, kept and trained at least eleven pit bull terriers at a residence in the Bronx.  Richardson enlisted these animals in dog fights and agreed with others to breed his dogs for the purpose of producing additional fighters.  In November 2018, the Court sentenced Richardson to 27 months’ imprisonment.” – November 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – “Damiane Buehrer, 40, of Jonesville, Michigan, was sentenced yesterday to serve 46 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for participating in a dog-fighting conspiracy between November 2016 and December 2017. … Buehrer and four co-defendants were indicted on April 18, 2018, for conspiracy and for unlawfully possessing animals to use in dog fighting, along with equipment to train and condition them for fighting. The remaining co-defendants, including Charles Joseph Miller, Kian Maliak Miller, Charles Deon Davis, Jr., and Jarvis Jason-Roy Askew, have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Buehrer was convicted in State court in 2010, under Michigan’s animal-fighting statute. Between November 14, 2016, and December 7, 2017, as part of the conspiracy, Buehrer—who had just been released from the Michigan Department of Corrections in August 2015 after serving a five-year-sentence for the same activity—acquired and possessed four dogs for the purposes of breeding, training, conditioning, and developing them to fight other dogs for prize money in underground and illegal contests that routinely result in dogs being wounded, maimed, and killed. Buehrer’s dogs, along with 33 other dogs owned by his co-conspirators, were rescued by Federal and state law-enforcement agencies as part of the investigation.” – November 2018

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – “United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that U.S. District Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced ERIC LASHAWN WILLIAMS, a.k.a. ‘E’ and ‘EZ,’ age 35, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 70 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. On July 2, 2018, Williams pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 46.5 grams of heroin, 285 grams of cocaine and 28.35 grams of marijuana, one count of the unlawful use of a communication facility, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  WILLIAMS also pled guilty to a Bill of Information charging him with violating the Federal Animal Welfare Act by possession of animals in animal fighting ventures. … During the investigation into WILLIAMS’ drug trafficking, law enforcement agents became aware that WILLIAMS was also involved in an illegal dog-fighting operation.  Law enforcement intercepted WILLIAMS and others over numerous telephone conversations regarding the results of dogfights in states including Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia, future fights, the stakes (cash) wagers on upcoming fights, as well as the breeding, sale, and training of dogs for dogfighting.” – October 2018

TAMPA, FLORIDA – “Josue Antonio Ortega (36, Dade City) today pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute heroin and to violating the animal fighting provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the heroin charge, and up to 5 years in federal prison on the Animal Welfare Act charge. According to the plea agreement, Ortega participated with others in a dogfighting conspiracy. In 2016, he and his co-conspirators, operating as Boricuba Kennels, sponsored pit bull dogfighting in Pasco County. On October 19, 2016, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ortega’s property and seized 14 pit bulls—12 of which had wounds and scarring consistent with having recently fought—along with equipment used to condition the dogs for fighting. They also seized over 70 grams of heroin.” – August 2018

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – “United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today the conviction of a defendant [COREY T. BROWN a.k.a. “Black,” age 31, of Baton Rouge] charged in connection with an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation targeting a drug trafficking network based in Baton Rouge and operating in Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.  During the course of the investigation, law enforcement uncovered an illegal dog fighting operation.  Numerous defendants [Eric Lashawn Williams, a.k.a. “E” and “EZ,” age 35, of Baton Rouge, MARCO MURPHY, a.k.a. “Big Daddy,” age 34, of Baton Rouge and ED WILLIAMS JR., a.k.a. “Cooter,” age 31, of Baton Rouge] were charged with significant drug trafficking offenses involving cocaine, marijuana and heroin, as well as violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act.” – August 2018

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – “Ance Payton, 42, of Jackson, pled guilty today before United States District Judge Tom S. Lee, to possessing several illegal drugs with the intent to distribute them, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In 2017, the Jackson Police Department received several complaints from Crime Stoppers and concerned citizens about a home on Plantation Boulevard in Jackson, Mississippi. Law enforcement began an investigation that included physical surveillance. During that time, they saw hand-to-hand transactions and other indicators of drug dealing. … In their search, detectives recovered a revolver, which Payton illegally possessed. They also found evidence of illegal dog fighting, including twelve pit bulls.” – July 2018

TAMPA, FLORIDA – “Tyler C. McGovern (32, Pasco County) has pleaded guilty to one felony dogfighting count, in violation of the animal fighting provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set.” – June 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – “A Maryland man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to engage in dogfighting, as well as a separate role as a ringleader in a credit card fraud and identity theft scheme.” – April 2018

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY – “Four men have been sentenced to federal prison terms for their respective roles in an interstate dog fighting network that extended from New Jersey to New Mexico and Indiana, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, District of New Jersey, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, announced today.” – March 2018

DUBLIN, GEORGIA – “On March 23, 2018, the United States filed a civil forfeiture complaint seeking the possession of 63 pit bull-type dogs that were allegedly involved in a dog fighting venture in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.  Pursuant to a federal warrant, the animals were seized on March 19, 2018, in Eastman, Georgia, by United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG) special agents working with the United States Marshals Service, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Patrol (GSP), Oconee Drug Task Force, Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.” – March 2018

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announces that United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced six North Carolina men this week for engaging in illegal dog fighting and selling narcotics in the Onslow County area. The following individuals and their sentences are listed below.

  • Leo Junior Chadwick, 64 of Hubert (60 Months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release & $25,000 fine)
  • Aaron Richardson, a/k/a “Jit”, 42 of Jacksonville (96 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release & $25,000 fine)
  • Cedric Gerard Cook, 39 of Fayetteville (45 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release, $5,000 fine)
  • James David Martin, 39 of Maple Hill (4 years probation, including 6 months of home confinement)
  • James Leslie Golden, III, 47 of Ayden (4 years probation and 100 hours of community service)
  • William Jay Farrior, a/k/a “Bo”, 37 of Maple Hill (48 months imprisonment and 5 years supervised release) …

“The investigation revealed that Chadwick had been involved in raising and training dogs for the past 35 years.  Evidence taken from Cook’s Facebook account showed that he had admitted to fighting dogs since he was 14 or 15 years old.  Martin hosted one of the fights on his property, while Golden attended two of the fights.

“Upon the arrests of the defendants in December 2016, search warrants were executed on four properties suspected of containing dogs and dog fighting paraphernalia.  In that process, approximately 156 dogs were seized, including some that were pregnant at the time.” – December 2017

EAGLE SPRINGS, NORTH CAROLINA – “Today a federal magistrate judge unsealed a superseding indictment charging Brexton Redell Lloyd, 54, of Eagle Springs, with one count of conspiracy and thirteen counts of violating the animal fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, announced Acting United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.” – September 2017

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – On the day jury selection was set to start, Ehbrin Castro-Correa, a.k.a. ‘Chino, plead guilty to one count of animal abuse, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Immigration and Customs Enforcement- Homeland Security Investigation (ICE-HSI) handled the investigation. Castro-Correa was facing trial on two counts of knowingly and unlawfully possessing and training an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an animal fighting venture and one count for attempting to transport an animal for the purpose of having the animal participate in an animal fighting venture, specifically from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic.” – June 2017

COLUMBUS, OHIO – “Charles A. Granberry, 40, of Columbus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 72 months in prison for conspiring to participate in a dog-fighting ring in central Ohio, illegally possessing a firearm and violating the terms of his supervised release. According to court documents, an undercover law enforcement officer met with Granberry and others over a two-week period at two houses in Columbus in March 2016. The officer saw evidence indicating that the house was used to train, fight and sell dogs, including at least 20 fighting dogs in the rear yard of one house that were chained to heavy automobile axles buried in the ground. Granberry described the fighting style of his dogs to the undercover officer and boasted about his dogs’ prowess during dogfights. He sold a dog to the undercover officer for $2,500 and advised that the dog could fight immediately because of its breeding and conditioning. Officers executed search warrants on April 5, 2016 at five Columbus houses. Agents seized evidence including 46 dogs along with cages, treadmills, heavy chains and collars and other items. Agents found canine blood on the floor and walls of the basement of one home indicating that the area was used as a dog-fighting pit.” – April 2017

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court yesterday, United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced three members of a Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina family relating to dog fighting, drug, and firearm conviction. ELTON GARY, 47, was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment followed by 10 years of supervised released for the exhibit and sponsor of an animal for the purpose and participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting; attending an animal fighting venture and aiding and abetting in the same; possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting in the same; possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon; possession with intent to distribute more than 50 but less than 100 marijuana plants and aiding and abetting; and maintaining drug involved premises and aiding and abetting.  His wife, ERICA POWELL GARY, 44, was sentenced to four months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release for felony dog fighting and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charges. ZHAQWAUN JEVONTAE GARY, 22, was sentenced to six months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release, for  a felony dog fighting charge.” – October 2016

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – “The United States filed a civil forfeiture complaint seeking the possession of six pit bull-type dogs which were allegedly involved in an interstate dog fighting venture in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman for the District of New Jersey. According to the complaint filed yesterday in Newark, New Jersey, federal court: The six pit bull-type dogs were seized on June 1, from a private residence in Westville, New Jersey, pursuant to a federal search warrant.  The residence was owned by the family of Justin Love, 36, of Glassboro, New Jersey, who was arrested the same day and charged by criminal complaint with violating the Animal Welfare Act. The condition of a majority of the dogs, including scarring and aggression towards other dogs, was consistent with dog fighting and related training.  For example, one of the female dogs, subsequently identified as ‘Momba,’ had severe scarring and showed signs of other serious injuries consistent with her participation in dog fights.  Her physical condition also indicated that she was used for breeding, which was further corroborated by intercepted phone conversations allegedly involving Love.” – September 2016

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY – “A Cumberland County, New Jersey, man allegedly connected to and living with an individual involved in a dog fighting conspiracy was arrested today for possessing dogs for the purpose of dog fighting, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, District of New Jersey, and Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, DOJ Environment and Natural Resources Division, announced. Robert A. Elliott, Sr., 47, of Millville, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with two counts of possessing pit bull-type dogs for dog fighting ventures in New Jersey and elsewhere.” – September 2016

ELIZABETH CITY, NORTH CAROLINA – “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court today, ZHAQWAUN JEVONTAE GARY, 22, pled guilty to Possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting. On April 5, 2016, his father, ELTON GARY, 47pled guilty to exhibiting and sponsoring an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting in the same; attending an animal fighting venture and aiding and abetting in the same; possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting in the same; possession of firearm and ammunition by a felon; possession with intent to distribute more than 50 but less than 100 marijuana plants and aiding and abetting; and maintaining drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting.  On April 21, 2016 his mother, ERICA POWELL GARY, 44, pled guilty to possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting, and possession of firearm by a felon.” – July 2016

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – “Six New Jersey residents were among nine individuals charged today in four states for their alleged roles in an interstate dog-fighting network spanning from New Mexico to New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman for the District of New Jersey and Assistant Attorney General John Cruden for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice announced. … Criminal complaints filed in New Jersey named the following individuals, eight of whom were arrested:  

  • Anthony “Monte” Gaines, 35, of Vineland, New Jersey (already in state custody on unrelated charges)
  • Justin Love, 36, of Westville, New Jersey
  • Lydell Harris, 30, of Vineland, New Jersey
  • Mario Atkinson, 40, of Asbury Park, New Jersey
  • Frank Nichols, 39, of Millville, New Jersey
  • Tiffany Burt, 34, of Vineland, New Jersey
  • Dajwan Ware, 43, of Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Pedro Cuellar, 46, of Willow Springs, Illinois
  • Robert Arellano, 62, of Albuquerque, New Mexico

“From October 2015 through the present, the defendants and their associates participated in dog-fighting ventures in which pit bull-type dogs were set up for matches to maul and attack each other and fight – often until one or both dogs die – and facilitated these ventures by transporting and delivering dogs between dog fighters in various states. The federal undercover investigation revealed that the defendants discussed graphic accounts of prior dog fights they and their associates staged and furthered their dog-fighting ventures through the exchange of information concerning dog-fighting bloodlines, training methods, fighting techniques and the market for buying and selling dogs.” – June 2016

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – “After a five-day trial, a federal jury convicted a man of conspiring to distribute multiple kilograms of cocaine and launder large sums of drug proceeds. Prior to the trial, the defendant pleaded guilty to partaking in a dog fighting enterprise. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the guilty verdict today.

“According to information presented in court, Daniel Scott Sr., aka Old School, 51, of Memphis, Tennessee, conspired with several others to distribute and did distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine between March 2014 and May 2015. … Over the same time period, Scott conspired with others to locate and develop various properties to serve as the staging area for housing and training American Pit Bull Terriers and hosting dog fighting gambling shows. Additionally, pit bulls were purchased, trained and bred for participation in the dog fight gambling shows.” – May 2016

GEORGIA – “United States Attorney Michael J. Moore announced today that Raymond Lee Hendrix a/k/a ‘Georgia Lee’ and ‘Lee,’ of Echols County, Georgia; and Willie Henderson, of Lowndes County, Georgia, were sentenced in United States District Court in Valdosta to by the Honorable Hugh Lawson, Senior District Court Judge. Mr. Hendrix pled guilty on June 25, 2015 to one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor and exhibit a dog in an animal fighting venture.  He received a sentence of 16 months imprisonment.

“Mr. Henderson entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor and exhibit a dog in an animal fighting venture and to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on June 25, 2015.  Mr. Henderson was sentenced to the maximum term of imprisonment of 60 months on Count One followed by a sentence of 63 months imprisonment on Count Two with 33 months, to be served consecutively, for a total sentence of 93 months imprisonment.

“In their plea agreements, Mr. Hendrix and Mr. Henderson admitted that between January 2008 and August 2013, they operated Clyattville Kennels, maintaining and training American Pit Bull Terriers for other dog fighters in exchange for a “tipping fee”, breeding and registering American Pit Bull Terriers and participating in organized dog fight gambling events throughout the Southeast.” – September 2015

AKRON, OHIO – “An Akron man was sentenced to two years in prison for operating a dog-fighting venture and related counts, law enforcement officials said. Alvin Banks, 56, was also ordered to pay more than $44,000 in restitution to the Human Society of Greater Akron. Banks pleaded guilty earlier this year to five counts: sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture; buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting canines for participation in an animal fighting venture; attending an animal-fighting venture; being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and possession with intent to manufacture and distribute less than 50 marijuana plants.” – June 2015

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – “An indictment charging 24 members of a large-scale narcotics organization from the Ravendale neighborhood on Detroit’s east side was unsealed today, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Joining McQuade in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Paul D. Abbate, Federal Bureau of Investigation. The indictment also charges six of the defendants with participating in an extensive illegal dogfighting ring.” – August 2015

ALBANY, GEORGIA – “U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore announced today that Arthur Lee Clark a/k/a ‘Bilbert,’ age 42, of Sumner, Georgia; Demitri Jackson, age 38; William Burns a/k/a ‘J.B,’ age 42; all of Albany, Georgia; and Timothy Hopkins a/k/a ‘LO,’ age 42, of Hiram, Georgia, were sentenced for conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.  … Demetri Jackson was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison.  Timothy Hopkins received a sentence of 35 months in prison.  William ‘J.B.’ Burns must serve 24 months in prison.  Arthur Lee Clark was sentenced to serve 3 years on probation. According to the indictment, the defendants operated a dogfight gambling enterprise, named ‘229 Boys Kennels, Inc.,’ from about April 2006 to April 2010 in Albany, Georgia.” – May 2015

AKRON, OHIO – “Ten people were indicted in federal court for attending an animal-fighting venture, law enforcement officials said. Indicted are: Alvin Banks, 56, of Akron; Carlton Davis and Anthony L. Harris, both 41 and both of Gary, Ind.; Donell Higginbotham, 35, of Pittsburgh; Mark Terrell McCraw, 29, of Hersporia, Calif.; Samuel G. Mobley, 38, of Gastonia, N.C.; Corey B. Moorefield, 45, of Pittsburgh; Darius D. Muse, 24, of Victorville, Calif.; Ryan A. Sadler, 32, of Gastonia, N.C. and Tommy L. Walker, 60, of East Chicago, Ind.” – December 2014

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – “In early 2013, as a result of community complaints, the FBI’s Columbia Violent Gang Task Force (CVGTF) – comprised of agents of the FBI, the Columbia Police Department, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the South Carolina National Guard — initiated an investigation into the drug activity occurring in and around a downtown Columbia neighborhood.  …  During the course of the investigation, agents learned that the individual who supplied cocaine to the organization was also involved in purchasing, breeding, and fighting dogs. A search warrant was executed Friday during which agents seized a dozen dogs from a property in Gaston, SC.  Upon arriving at the scene, ASPCA responders found dogs exhibiting scars and injuries commonly associated with dog fighting. The dogs were found chained and anchored to car axles, with trash barrels being used as makeshift shelters.  Adult dogs and puppies were found severely emaciated and dehydrated, and the remains of deceased dogs were also discovered on the premises, along with dog fighting paraphernalia.  This was the second warrant executed on this property this month.  On October 1, agents searched the residence of the alleged drug supplier for evidence of his involvement in drug trafficking and dog fighting. At that time, agents seized 35 dogs, along with drugs, guns, and cash.” – October 2014

ALBANY, GEORGIA – “U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore announced today that Arthur Lee Clark, age 41, of Sumner, Georgia; Demitri Jackson, age 37; Tedrick Jackson, age 38; William Burns, age 41;  Otha Hopkins, age 47, all of Albany, Georgia; Timothy Hopkins, age 41, of Hiram, Georgia; and Michael Bass, age 40, of Ashburn, Georgia, were indicted for one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture and three counts of sponsoring and exhibiting a dog in an animal fighting venture. According to the indictment, the defendants operated a dogfight gambling enterprise, named ‘229 Boys Kennels, Inc.,’ from about April 2006 to April 2010 in Albany, Georgia.  The defendants produced, promoted and participated in dogfight gambling shows throughout the Southeast, including other parts of Georgia and Florida.  The defendants bred, purchased, sold, and trained American Pit Bull Terriers for the purposes of dogfight gambling.  The dogs were bred with dogs owned by, purchased from, and sold to individuals from other parts of Georgia, Florida,  Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.” – May 2014

DELAWARE – “United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III, announced today that a federal grand jury last week returned two superseding indictments charging a total of fourteen men with various violations of federal law.  … The second indictment contains charges relating to the Sponsoring of Animals in Dogfighting Ventures, in violation of Title 7, United States Code, Sections 2156(a)(1). … The dogfighting indictment alleges that between the dates of January 17, 2014 through February 19, 2014, Defendants Edward Sturgis, age 38 of Dover, Robert Ingram, age 30 of Dover, William Chapman, age 42 of Dover, Tyshi Hazzard, age 36 of Rehoboth Beach, and Deshawn Groce, age 39 of Dover, engaged in a conspiracy and two substantive offenses alleging violations of the federal dogfighting statute.  If convicted of any of these offenses, the charged defendants could face up to five years imprisonment, in addition to fines and supervised release.” – May 2014

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – “On Friday, August 23, 2013, the following people were arrested after being indicted for violations of the federal dog fighting statute and the federal gambling statute:

  • Donnie Anderson—48 years old, of Auburn, Alabama
  • Demontt Allen—37 years old, of Houston, Texas
  • William Antone Edwards—42 years old, of Brantley, Alabama
  • William Oneil Edwards—39 years old, of Elba, Alabama
  • Robin Stinson—40 years old, of Elba, Alabama
  • Michael Martin—54 years old, of Auburn, Alabama
  • Lawrence Watford—35 years old, of Adel, Georgia
  • Ricky Van Le—24 years old, of Biloxi, Mississippi
  • David Sellers—52 years old, of Opelika, Alabama
  • Sandy Brown—47 years old, Brownsville, Alabama

“The 30 count federal indictment charges that between 2009 and 2013 the above individuals conspired to promote and sponsor dog fights, and conspired to possess, buy, sell, transport and deliver dogs that were involved in dog fighting. The indictment further charges individual defendants with promoting or sponsoring a dog fight and with possessing, buying, selling, transporting and delivering a dog for fighting purposes. Lastly, these defendants were charged with conducting an illegal gambling business.

“On Friday, August 23, 2013, agents executed 13 search warrants, 11 in Alabama and two in Georgia. Agents seized 367 pit bull terriers that appeared as if they had been fought multiple times, guns, illegal narcotics, drugs used to treat and train dogs, and other evidence indicative of dog fighting. During the course of this investigation, agents also seized over $500,000 from dog fighters involved in this organization.” – August 2013

TYLER, TEXAS – “A Texas man has been indicted on a federal charge of sponsoring dog fighting, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. Vertrick Jordan, 47, Tyler, Texas, is charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture. The indictment alleges that Jordan conspired with two other men to engage in animal fighting. The men are Pete Davis, Jr., and Melvin L. Robinson, who are scheduled for sentencing Sept. 9 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture.” – July 2013

Don’t Post Animals on Craigslist, Facebook or Any Other App — You Have Been Warned

As I said in my About page, where you’ll see hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions urging Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster to shut down the Craigslist pet section, people have been warned not to post animals on Craigslist, Facebook and other apps/websites for over a decade. Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to prevent animals from being posted on Craigslist for reasons — plural. Really, they all boil down to one reason: people have taught other people that cats, kittens, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals are disposable, so psychopaths and dogfighters have been disposing of them.

People Collecting Cats, Kittens, Dogs and Rabbits for Dogfighters Aren’t Just Replying to Craigslist Ads, They’re Posting Them

This map shows dogfighters that have been busted between Buffalo, New York, and Kalamazoo, Michigan since 2019. It includes Cleveland, Warren, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and Detroit, Flint and Lansing, Michigan, but we have dogfighters all over the country, particularly in the South. If you’re posting cats, kittens, dogs, rabbits and other animals on Craigslist, keep in mind:

  • Dogfighters aren’t necessarily in prison. Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was arrested in January of 2020 and has been out on bond, awaiting trial, for over a year and a half. Buffalo, New York, dogfighter Douglas Williams was allowed out on bond despite being arrested for dogfighting while on parole for “violent” home invasion and disappeared before his court date.
  • Dogfighters have posted Craigslist ads like this seeking kittens their dogs can kill for practice.
  • This tweet shows four cats and kittens that have been killed in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, since November 2020.
  • Drug-dealing dogfighters eluding police probably aren’t going to reply to your ad. They send women like the woman in the first photo of that tweet to pick up your cat, kitten, dog or rabbit.
  • Women fight dogs, too. This white woman in Dayton, Ohio, fought dogs and cut off her dogs’ ears. This white woman in Pennsylvania and her husband were going to turn dogfighting into a family business. If you scroll through this post, you’ll see Asian and Latina women, white guys and old guys.
  • This white guy in Akron, Ohio, is providing cats to and breeding kittens for a dogfighter who hasn’t been busted yet. Section B of Michigan State University College of Law’s “Detailed Discussion of Dogfighting” explains the black cat’s bald spots.  
  • A dogfighter in Columbus, Ohio, was busted with catmills, which you can see an example of here.
  • A dogfighter in Pennsylvania was busted with four rabbits.
  • A New Jersey dogfighter “bragged about maintaining his fighting dogs by feeding them chickens and rabbits, remarking how much the dogs loved killing the animals.”
  • Police found blood on the dog treadmill on Warren, Ohio, dogfighter Stanley Redd Jr.’s property.
  • Drug-dealing dogfighters have money. Redd had over $62,000 in cash when he was arrested in May 2021. When feds raided an Akron, Ohio, dogfight that attracted attendees from five states in 2014, feds found $30,000 lying in the yard. If dogfighters want the cat, kitten, rabbit, or dog you post on Craigslist, Facebook or some other app, they’ll pay for it.

People Are Killing Animals for Social Media

A guy in Riverside, California, bought a Chihuahua from Craigslist and slit its throat on Snapchat. A woman in Kokomo, Indiana, killed five dogs, five cats and 11 unborn kittens she obtained from social media. “I’ll be killing a pregnant Siamese and a kitten later on today,” she posted on Instagram. “Court documents state she … removed the unborn kittens from the mother’s body and posted images on social media of her crushing them,” Indianapolis news station WISH-TV reported. These are not isolated instances. Numerous petitions have urged YouTube to remove animal cruelty videos.

Angry Guys Are Taking Their Anger out on Kittens and Cats

A geometry teacher in Texas killed his four kittens because it made him feel “powerful” when he felt frustrated, according to a news station in Jacksonville, Florida. He also took them to the vet each time he hurt them, so keep that in mind if you’re asking for vet references in your Craigslist ad.

Animal cruelty increased 301 percent in Michigan alone between 2016 and 2018. That was before COVID-related job losses and evictions. Both domestic violence and animal cruelty have increased because of COVID.

“My guess is that the pandemic has been hard on a lot of people, both in terms of their resources (and) their mental health,” said Tali Smith, a prosecutor in Seattle. “And so it’s kind of a pressure-cooker situation. You have people that are angry (and) they’re at home a lot. That anger can be taken out on an animal.” Richmond Animal Care and Control in Virginia reported “a big increase in violence towards the animals in the home and outside of the home.” The news is full of guys who’ve killed their wife, girlfriend or ex’s kitten(s):

Psychopaths Are Copycatting Other Cat Killers

Another Craigslist cat and kitten killer, who I’m intentionally leaving nameless

Long before the Luka Magnotta documentary premiered on Netflix last fall, men were adopting free/cheap cats and kittens from Craigslist, Facebook and other websites, torturing them and killing them. Ronald Golden killed 22 cats that he got from Craigslist, meaning he convinced 22 people that he’d be a good pet parent; Kaine Louzader killed “at least 12,” meaning that’s how many he admitted to killing. The guy in the photo above was an armed security guard at a mental health facility and killed one cat per month for about a year that he got from Craigslist. He told his mom, friends and therapist what he was doing. None of them did anything to stop him.

Animal Flippers Are Looking for Quick Cash

When I first started replying to — and taking screenshots of — Craigslist ads, I titled some of my screenshots, “Why Are Cats Always Cowering in Craigslist Photos?” I later realized people were snatching cats off the street and posting them on Craigslist in hopes of obtaining quick cash. The cats didn’t know these people and were rightly afraid of them. If you scroll through all four screenshots in each of the tweets below, you’ll see a woman named Rachel Sanuk in Cleveland, Ohio, asking for free/cheap cats and dogs and then trying to sell them.

This guy in Texas tried selling Great Pyrenees puppies on Craigslist. When he didn’t get the amount he wanted for them, he killed them. The woman in Cleveland sold the black cat to our dogfighter.

If you need to — and I stress the words “need to” — find a home for cats, kittens, dogs and other animals, please ask family, friends and coworkers you know well if they would be willing to give your pet a safe home. Do not hand your pet to a stranger on Craigslist, Facebook or any other app hoping the person will let you check on your pet. They can block you via phone or social media before they even leave your driveway.

How to Advocate for Animals: Dig a Ditch for Dogfighters One Tweet at a Time

Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was arrested in January of last year and still has not gone on trial, thanks in part to COVID. Initially, his trial was scheduled for December 2020. It was then bumped to July 2021. As of June 23, his July 13 trial date has become another pretrial conference due to ongoing plea negotiations, according to the court docket. McCoy has been busted for dogfighting three times since 2014 and has continued killing cats and kittens while he’s been out on bond. After babysitting Craigslist the past 10 months and seeing everything I have seen, there’s no way in hell I’m letting him get another slap on the wrist like his year of probation for his first dogfighting arrest and his 10 months in prison for the second. So, today, as I did June 23, I sent a slew of tweets to the FBI, FBI Buffalo, FBI Pittsburgh, FBI Detroit, USDA, and Cleveland City Council’s president, who’s running for mayor. After I publish this post, I will send the following chronological list of tweets to FBI Cleveland and other people who have more power than me to persuade the judge to do what he’s supposed to do since he ignored two letters from me about McCoy.

Today’s Tweets

An updated look @ the dogfighters — people killing #dogs, #cats & #kittens — busted in #Buffalo #NewYork #Cleveland Warren Toledo #Columbus #Ohio #Detroit Flint & Lansing #Michigan & #Pittsburgh #Pennsylvania

Red pins indicate recent dogfighting arrests in Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, Warren, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and Detroit, Flint and Lansing, Michigan.

April 2019: #Columbus #Ohio – German Sanchez was arrested for dogfighting & 20 #dogs were taken. He was sentenced to four years in prison. cc: @FBI @FBIBuffalo @FBIPittsburgh @FBIDetroit @USDA @kevinkelleyCLE

Three years earlier, #Columbus #Ohio dogfighter Charles Granberry was busted with “treadmills, cat mills … [as well] as a blood-stained dogfighting pit.”

November 2019: #dogs were taken during @USDA raids in Toledo #Ohio, but arrests were never reported.

January 2020: #Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was busted for the 3rd time & has been out on bond ever since.

Sept. 2020: Police took nine #dogs from two dogfighters on W. 44th Street, but they were never charged despite all being injured.

“No charges filed” is a common occurrence in #Cleveland. 2019 example:

Another common occurrence in #Cleveland dogfighting: slaps on the wrist. Robert Cook got a year in 2018. In 2014, Angelo McCoy got a year of probation; in 2015, he got 10 months in prison.

Slaps on the wrist do not deter dogfighters from going back to killing #dogs, #cats, #kittens, rabbits & other small #animals after they get out of prison.

Buehrer, A West Michigan Resident, Continued to Participate in Underground Pit Bull Terrier Fighting Even After Serving State Prison Time for Dog-Fighting Offense

Down south, like in #Alabama & #Atlanta, they get drug-dealing dogfighters off the streets for decades, so they aren’t killing humans, #dogs, #cats, #kittens & other #animals — or raising children to do so.

dogfighter Angelo McCoy has a kid AND he was selling drugs near a school.

In 2014, #Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy was 1 of 47 people arrested from 5 states in #Akron.

Dogfighters — i.e., people who kill #dogs, #cats, #kittens & other small #animals — maintain contact after fights. With slaps on the wrist, is it any wonder our #Ohio map looks like this?

That would, in turn, mean this ridiculous list [mugshots included] of dogfighters know each other. Give McCoy another slap on the wrist & EXPECT MORE IN #OHIO.

“[D]ogfighting rings are ‘harder to infiltrate than the Mafia.'” Most are busted as the result of months- or years-long drug investigations.

Police were surprised to find #dogs in three locations in Warren #Ohio during a drug investigation.

Neighbors are afraid to report the dogfighter next door for killing #dogs, #cats, #kittens, etc. & There’s no point in encouraging them to if judges give people like McCoy a slap on the wrist.

It’s going to look even more suspicious if #Cleveland dogfighter Angelo McCoy gets a 3rd slap on the wrist considering TWO JUDGES ordered him not to own more #dogs.

Last November, this #Craigslist ad appeared near McCoy’s home on Minnie. Willing to take ALL unwanted animals. That seem a little strange to @FBI @FBIBuffalo @FBIPittsburgh @FBIDetroit @USDA @kevinkelleyCLE @ALDF @IDAUSA?

How ’bout the “Maybe it was you — let me know” ad in #Cleveland‘s #Craigslist pet section OR the code in Altoona #Pennsylvania‘s pet section?

#Ohio, #Pennsylvania & #Michigan dogfighters have been using #Craigslist to obtain #cats, #kittens & #dogs for their dogs to kill for practice.

A white guy in #Akron#Ohio who’s been breeding #kittens for & supplying bait #cats to a dogfighter who hasn’t been caught yet. @Akron_Police is aware.

Animal flippers & other assholes are also supplying #cats & #kittens to dogfighters via #Craigslist pet section ads, avoiding calls, texts & emails — i.e., EVIDENCE.

This is just a handful of #cats & #kittens that have been killed in #Cleveland & #Akron #Ohio recently. cc: @FBI @FBIBuffalo @FBIPittsburgh @FBIDetroit @USDA @kevinkelleyCLE @ALDF @IDAUSA McCoy has **at least** three women supplying them.

Concerned about cats, kittens, and dogs being killed in your hometown? First, reply to Craigslist pet and free stuff section ads to warn people posting animals about what you’ve read here and in previous posts. Flag ads advertising free animals and “ISO/looking for” ads. Contact City Council, the governor, and your local senators and representatives and urge them to pass stronger laws like Sen. Todd Kaminsky’s S90 bill targeting dogfighters. Then, set up a Google Alert to have Google notify you of dogfighting arrests in your state. Remind judges in those cases that we passed stronger animal cruelty laws for a reason. Harp until someone hears you. “Animals need your voice” isn’t just a slogan.

Cleveland’s Wannabe-Animal-Flipper Rachel Sanuk

While replying to Craigslist pet section ads Sunday, April 11, 2021, as I have since September of last year, I came across an orange cat photographed hiding in his litter box — on carpeting. The ad conjured questions: Who takes a picture of a cat they’re trying to sell while it’s in a litter box? Who keeps a litter box on carpeting let alone out in the open, next to what looks like a cable wire coming out of a wall? Worse, the ad said the cat needed a new home “ASAP,” and Craigslist’s map showed the cat lived near a woman who’s been collecting kittens for a dogfighter. I texted the person who’d posted the ad and said to charge a lot of money for the cat. Cleveland’s wannabe-animal-flipper Rachel Sanuk, aka Rachel Grace Barbera, replied that she was seeking $50 for him.

“It,” not him. A tell-tale sign Sanuk is not an animal person.

How I Discovered Rachel Sanuk Is a Wannabe Animal Flipper

After I replied to the ad for the orange cat, I returned to Cleveland’s Craigslist pet section to reply to more ads. Incredibly, I opened another ad Rachel Sanuk had posted with phone number 440-227-8818. This one sought free/cheap cats. No wonder the poor cat was hiding in his litter box, I thought. He didn’t belong to Sanuk. I wondered if she’d plucked a feral cat from someone’s yard, as many animal flippers — or pet flippers — do when they don’t outright steal them from people like Lady Gaga’s dog walker.

The next day, Sanuk posted a Craigslist ad selling a black cat that, like the orange cat, wanted nothing to do with her.

Other Craigslist Ads Rachel Sanuk, aka Rachel Grace Barbera, Has Posted

Tuesday, April 13, Sanuk began posting ads seeking a little dog. I can only assume she noticed all the Craigslist ads selling yorkies, shih-tzus, and cavapoos for hundreds of dollars and thought that would be a more profitable venture. She isn’t wrong about it being potentially profitable. This Akron-Canton animal flipper posted ads seeking a shih-tzu for weeks. Like Sanuk, who’s lying, saying she’s “looking for a lovable companion” (much like her ex-husband, I’m sure), the Akron-Canton animal flipper said she was looking to give a shih-tzu a good home and looking for a friend for her other dog. After the Akron-Canton animal flipper advertised a shih-tzu for $500, I called her out on it via email, and she lied again, saying the dog she’d posted was her aunt’s dog and they’d “decided to keep him anyway. So it’s all good.”

Why Rachel Sanuk Is Trying to Sell Animals on Craigslist

When I first discovered Sanuk was selling cats she was obtaining for free, I assumed she had a drug habit. It’s always possible that she does, considering Ohio’s heroin and opioid epidemic. But after doing a little digging, I learned Sanuk, whose background check reveals 21 criminal and traffic records, has owed a lot of money to a lot of people in years past.

Creditors included CitiFinancial and State of Ohio Department of Taxation.

Ultimately, Sanuk is the only one who knows why she’s flipping animals on Craigslist instead of getting a(nother) job. I recommend replying to one of her many ads and asking her. I also recommend flagging her ads to get them removed. She clearly couldn’t care less who she sells these animals to. She’s only concerned about money. And animal flippers, like this guy in Texas, have a history of killing animals they can’t sell for the amount of money they’d hoped to gain from them.