Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Arrested, 7 Dogs Seized in Alleged Fighting Ring

By Jane Flasch, WHAM

She is so friendly she gets up to greet visitors in spite of her pain.  Dozens of bite wounds cover the body of this 2 year old pit bull.  Police found her bleeding in the attic, fresh from a prolonged fight.
"It’s not a quick couple of bites like you’d see in a street fight,” says animal cruelty investigator Reno DiDomenico.  “These dogs are trained to fight for 2 hours or more so they go though a lot of trauma and tearing of the flesh.”
Police called to investigate alleged drug crimes at this empty building on North Street instead found a wooden fighting ring set up in a rear wear house area.  A second dog-injured but in better shape – was seized from a car.
Investigators discovered five other pit bull-mixed breed dogs in a pen in the basement.  Two of them had deep scars on their muzzles and heads from previous fighting.
Carlos Contreras and Andrew Liberi now face felony animal fighting charges.  Benji Hood and brothers Darius and Robert Peterson were later arrested and charged with owning dogs used for fighting.
Cruelty investigators say animal fighting goes on in the Rochester area often, most likely weekly.  The motive is money, many gamble on the fights.  Because the wooden rings are portable they are moved from place to place and infiltrating these operations is difficult.
In this case, the irony is that all of the seized dogs are affectionate, even timid around people.  “They have very good temperaments,” says investigator DiDomenico adding “they are friendly to people but not to other animals.”
The dogs will be evaluated and will likely be given over to rescue homes or people familiar with how to raise animals that have had this kind of fight training.  They will not be available for adoption to the public, but Lollypop Farm says people who want to help can do so by donating for their medical and other care.
Sunday’s tip off to police came just in time for the most injured of the dogs.  She will recover.  Starting today, her life will get better

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