On December 21, 2014, Baltimore Police Department announced a significant, multi-state raid had been executed. The raid, which took place in both Maryland and West Virginia, led to the arrest and indictment of 22 individuals from a Baltimore grand jury. The areas in Baltimore and West Virginia that were included in the raid unveiled a significant and horrifying scene of animal cruelty expressly for the purpose of breeding and fighting dogs. An astonishing number of dogs were rescued from this dogfighting ring, including 50 puppies and a grand total of 225 dogs. Included in the seizure were at least 20 weapons and a vast array of items used in the cruel practice of breeding and training dogs for a life of fighting. Among the 225 dogs were examples of typical inhumane behavior of those individuals involved in dogfighting, such as the cutting off of ears and forcing dogs to wear weighted collars in hot weather. These are just a few examples of the torturous conditions endured by these dogs. We collectively praised law enforcement and the criminal justice system when it appeared that there would be significant consequences for the people involved in the heinous act.
On August 12, the charges against one of the lead defendants and alleged ringleaders of the dogfighting ring, Jovon Lee, were dropped. We were astounded and decided it cannot end here! A call to action is needed, as animal abuse does not stop with animals. The research has shown it is a predictor for violence against humans. To this end, we are petitioning the case be removed from the Baltimore City State's Attorney's office and placed in the federal court system. This case ranges across state lines, and even crosses international boundaries, which demonstrates the vast scope of the judicial process involved. With 22 defendants, we believe that the State's Attorney's office lacks the resources necessary to conduct the remainder of the trial proceedings. We are asking you to support us and help transfer this case to the federal level where competent and experienced litigators can represent the 225 dogs that were brutalized and bring their perpetrators to justice. We must be the voices for the voiceless!