225 Dogs Rescued From Multi-State Dog Fighting Ring

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Pasado’s Safe Haven assists American Humane Association’s Red Star Rescue Team

DONATE-NOW-HELP-BUTTONDecember 2014 – The scope of the cruelty was stunning. In an effort to break up a multi-state dogfighting operation, authorities announced raids on 18 locations in Baltimore and a compound in West Virginia, recovering 225 dogs.  American Humane Association’s renowned Red Star® Animal Emergency Services team was asked to stand by to help the animal victims and began providing care for the dogs at an undisclosed shelter in the Baltimore area, helping with the handling and comforting of 69 animals who for so long have known nothing but brutal torture, abuse and neglect.

Pasado’s Safe Haven was asked to participate in the rescue and assist with American Humane Association’s Red Star team. “It was truly rewarding to be a part of this case. It was a relief to see all of these innocent dogs rescued and pulled from that horrific situation.” said Kim Koon, Director of Investigations and Rescue for Pasado’s Safe Haven. “To help bring them to safety and to see those who inflicted this horror held accountable – these are the experiences that keep you going in this line of work.” concluded Koon.

According to CBS Baltimore, police found wounds and scars on many animals. Some of them were living in deplorable conditions. A few dozen of the puppies were saved before they ever had a chance to fight. From large adults to the tiniest of pups, authorities said their year long dog fighting investigation netted 225 animals. Fifty of them were just puppies.

“Animal fighting is a barbaric and cowardly form of cruelty,” said Justin L. Scally, national director of Humane Intervention & Emergency Services for American Humane Association. “One that not only leads to immense animal suffering – but one that frequently also involves other crimes and violence.”

A grand jury returned indictments against 22 people involved in the operation. All of them are being charged with animal cruelty, dog fighting and conspiracy.

“[In] 2014 we still have human beings that feel that dogs were bred to do this kind of thing is just ridiculous,” Lt. Col. Sean Miller with Baltimore police said.

This incident outlines 297 charges, including conspiracy, dog-fighting and animal abuse, against 22 defendants who are accused of forcing dogs to engage in brutal fights, sometimes to the death. Prosecutors said gambling purses at the fights would reach as high as $100,000.

“These indictments bring into the light a form of brutality that for too long has unfolded in forgotten basement of Baltimore and beyond,” Thiru Vignarahah with the City State Attorney’s Office said.

After a year long investigation police raided 15 homes in the city and two in the county. Along with the animals themselves, police confiscated heavy chains, even treadmills used to help train the dogs and more than 20 guns. Almost all of the indicted suspects have criminal records.

The deployment was made possible by Red Star presenting sponsor MARS Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs. In addition, PetSmart Charities® sent food, crates, and other supplies for up to 100 animals to help the victims in the Baltimore case.

“A situation like this, involving deliberate cruelty to animals and, often, death, is especially heartbreaking,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “Unless someone intervenes, these animals would have no hope. Thanks to our supporters, philanthropist Lois Pope, MARS Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, PetSmart Charities®, and other major donors, we are able to come to the aid of our nation’s most vulnerable animals in their times of greatest need.”

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