Pennsylvania Officials Bust Huge Dogfighting Ring, Rescue 32 Dogs

Last week officers in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals dismantled the largest dogfighting ring the group has ever busted by arresting 19 people.

Overwhelming Evidence Should Lead To Convictions

Barbara Paul, an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, hopes the evidence will lead to convictions.

From NPR, via Vermont Public Radio:

“The Police and the SPCA actually saw people watching the dogfight, and they saw the dogfight in progress,” she says. “This never happens. Generally we find evidence afterwards — we find evidence of the training and the treatment and, unfortunately, the abuse that the animals suffer. But to actually find a fight in progress was pretty amazing. The evidence is overwhelming.”

Pennsylvania SPCA spokeswoman Wendy Marano says the bust is significant.
“We got some of the high-end organizers, some of the key people who have big names out on the street in dogfighting,” Marano says. “Also just the sheer number of the animals that we took in — we’ve taken in 32 animals, and that certainly is the largest.”

Marano says while the case makes its way through the system, the dogs being held as evidence will rack up a bill.

“It’s about $20 a day just to hold an animal as part of a humane law enforcement case,” she says.

Dogfighting Goes Hand-In-Hand With Other Crimes

It turns out that dogfighting, which is illegal in all 50 states, often goes hand-in-hand with other criminal activities. In this case, in addition to the dogs and the arrests nabbed from this ring, officers also found weapons, narcotics and large sums of cash.

Paul adds that it’s sometimes really hard to look at the evidence.

From NPR:

“It just breaks my heart,” she says. “I go home and hug my cats. I feel so strongly that people need to be punished for this. It’s so clear to me in these cases that the people who do this are just really malevolent.”

Paul doubts the shutdown of this ring, as big as it was, will deter people from continuing to fight dogs. But she hopes the gruesome images and an increased awareness of the crime will generate more tips from the community.

The Brutal World Of Professional Dogfighting

Let’s hope news of this bust will shine a light on the brutal world of professional dogfighting, where pit bulls are placed in a ring and goaded and cheered by their owners and the crowd while they tear at each other’s faces and throats.

Photo credit: iStock

231 comments

Dorina Rojas
Dorina Rojas4 years ago

Jail them for life and confiscate their properties to support animal shelters and sanctuaries. Recidivists should get death sentence above all.

Vava W.
V W.4 years ago

All involved in this cruely & senseles activity should be prosecuted to the highest extent.

Linda D.
Linda D.4 years ago

These men who participate in dog fighting should have to pay for the care of the dogs while they are being held as evidence for the legal case, and that means liquidating any assets these scumbags own, their home, their car, their bank accounts, their jewelry, whatever they own. The financial burden should not be thrown on the backs of animal shelters who are struggling to stay afloat.

Candace Jansen
Candace Jansen4 years ago

Inject them with rat poison so they can endure the pain and suffering that these poor creatures endures. My pets are also my family. Shame on them!!!

Mara C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Sue G. has the right idea!

Sue Griffiths
Sue Griffiths4 years ago

Why pay to keep these sadistic people in jail? Give them a lethal injection, but make them pay for the injection first.

Dorothy G.
Dorothy Gresham4 years ago

Dog fighting is an extremely cruel and painful bloodsport and should be banned forever. Those who continue to partake or promote dog fighting should be arrested and jailed - lock them up and throw away the key. They are heartless and sadistic individuals who don't deserve any leniency or consideration. Dogs, whether they be pit bulls or any other type or breed are just beautiful and loving animals. If they are vicious and/or prone to attack, it is because they were either abused or trained to be that way. Treated with love and affection, you couldn't want a better or loyal companion.

Sheri Bender-Schongold
Sheri Schongold4 years ago

Dogfighting is disgusting. It should be banned with penalty of at least 10-20 years. The states are just too lenient on these criminals and they are criminals.

Marlene Dinkins
Marlene Dinkins4 years ago

yes they should be in jail forever and ever!!!!!! this brutlality need to be end, completly. this people beed to be punish in a big time!!!!! a least with 10 or 15 years in prison. this crime make me sick to my guts!!!!!! am tired of this brutality with the pittbulls. i have two they are my life. my childrens!!!!! i just can not imagine such thing like this!!!!!!!! i hope one day be a law a big law to protect them. my dogs adored me, the animals are fantastic. gli animali sono i piu belli del mondo!!!!!! io sono amante del mondo animale.

Fen Drayton
Fen Drayton4 years ago

Posting gruesome pics and descriptions have the potential to do "some" good, providing they are done in such a way that they don't de-sensitize people. There is so much violence in movies and even TV these days that people are used to seeing repulsive things. A nice juicy reward might get them to turn on each other and also give up the names of spectators who should ALSO be charged, (Is there a law about "enabling/encouraging" a blood sport causing death?) coz if this scum didn't pay and wager, there wouldn't BE any dogfights.