Monday, January 10, 2011

Starving Pit Bulls Found at Suspected Drug House

By Todd Wright, NBC Miami

Animals may have been used in dogfighting ring

An apartment that was suspected of drug production may have also housed an equally sinister crime, Broward Sheriff's Office deputies discovered.
Detectives found four chained pit bulls starving in the backyard of a Fort Lauderdale residence and the animals were so skinny, some of their bones nearly pushed through their flesh.
On Friday, detectives received a tip that the apartment at 2681 NW 15th St. was producing and selling marijuana.
When they arrived, they found more than drugs. In the back of the apartment, where a marijuana garden was planted, BSO found the severely malnourished dogs. The dogs could barely stand, officials said.
One dog was in a cage so small it couldn't move. The other three were tied to a fence and laying in their own feces. All of them had bite marks, which led detectives to believe the animals were used in dogfighting. One dog was missing an eye.
The owner of the apartment was not home at the time, but investigators believe he is still in the area. They would not release a name and no arrests have been made.
The animals were taken to the Broward Animal Shelter. It's unclear if the dogs will survive.

Update January 18, 2011 10:49am - The following article is by Juan Ortega, Sun Sentinel:
Two arrested in pitbull cruelty case near Fort Lauderdale

Two men have been charged with animal cruelty after authorities rescued four pitbulls from inhumane conditions, the Broward Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Tracy Bray, 25, and Clifton Lockhart, 20, were arrested Friday and each charged with two counts of animal cruelty, the Sheriff's Office said. Bray also was charged with two counts of selling, manufacturing or possessing marijuana.
The events that led to their arrests began Jan. 7, when detectives responded Bray's apartment, acting on a tip that illegal drugs were being sold from the residence, a sheriff's report said. Bray's home is situated in Roosevelt Gardens, a neighborhood in an unincorporated part of Broward.
A woman at the residence signed a form allowing deputies to search the apartment. Deputies found marijuana inside the apartment. As they found marijuana plants in a backyard garden, they also found four pitbulls, the report said.
According to the sheriff's report:
Three of the dogs were tied to a fence lying on their own feces. They appeared malnourished, with their bones protruding through their skin. One pitbull lacked an eye and had many scars from what seemed to be bite marks.
A fourth dog was in a cage that was so small, it barely could move.
When animal control workers arrived to remove the dogs, two of the dogs tried to attack each other without being provoked, suggesting they were used to fighting each other.
The two animal cruelty charges against Bray stem from him owning two of the dogs, the Sheriff's Office said. Lockhart owned the other two dogs, the Sheriff's Office said.

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