Cleveland, OH: On December 22nd, police raided a house after an anonymous tip alerted them to a possible dog fighting operation. The police removed 27 frightened and emaciated dogs, many of which were pit bulls. The dogs did not have food or water. Many were covered in scars, old and new. According to a rescuer, the dogs included nursing mothers and more than 15 puppies.
In the basement, there were blood splatters on the walls near plywood barriers, where it is believed the fighting took place. A treadmill and other equipment used to train dogs to fight were also found. According to news reports, no one lived in the house - it was instead being used to keep the dogs and hold dog fights.
Three days after an arrest warrant was issued for Collin Rand, Jr., 33, of Cleveland, he turned himself in to police. Rand is being held on charges of felony dog fighting.
Although the dogs have not yet been evaluated, comments from the people handling them seem to indicate that none of the dogs appear to be aggressive.
Fox 8 News quotes Cleveland Animal Control Chief John Baird as saying “"We're not sure what these dogs were being used for. They could have been used as bait dogs. It's unsure at the time."
According to Wikipedia.org, “"Bait" animals are animals used to test a dog's fighting instinct; they are often mauled or killed in the process. Trainers obtain bait animals from several sources: wild or feral animals, animals obtained from a shelter, or in some cases, stolen pets”.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_fighting
None of the dogs have been euthanized. They are safe for now at the Cleveland City Kennel, and are being checked by a veterinarian. They must be held until the court case is over, after which the kennel hopes they can all be put up for adoption or rescued.
We would like to thank whoever did the right thing and saved these dogs by reporting the dog fights to the police. If you have any information about possible dog fighting activity, the Humane Society of the United States has an animal fighting tip line at 877-HSUS-TIP. They also offer a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dog fighting or cockfighting.
This petition respectfully requests that if found guilty, Collin Rand Jr., the man accused of dog fighting, be given the maximum sentence allowable under law and that he never be allowed to own animals again.
For more information on this story: Fox 8 News: http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-cleveland-police-searching-for-dog-fighting-suspect-txt,0,5515791.story
Cleveland Pets Examiner article: http://www.examiner.com/pets-in-cleveland/dogs-seized-suspected-dogfighting-ring-held-at-city-kennel
Video courtesy of: www. Fox 8 .com
This petition will be updated as more information becomes available; however, the intent will remain the same.
Thank you for your prompt attention in this matter.