Police busted a dog fighting ring in the Bronx. Photo: © ASPCA
ASPCA and New York police seized 47 dogs, including puppies, from a Bronx basement apartment on Thursday. The dogs - mostly pit bulls - were allegedly being trained to fight in an illegal dog fighting operation. The windowless basement had a makeshift arena estimated to be able to house 100 spectators.
Police arrested Raul Sanchez, 57, the building’s superintendent, and charged him with animal fighting, a felony crime. Other related charges may follow. According to police the investigation began last year and is continuing.
The dogs were living stacked in filthy cages, officials said."It was pretty horrific," Deputy Inspector Anthony Favale, of the NYPD's Vice Enforcement Division, told reporters Thursday afternoon. "It's deplorable conditions. I couldn't even describe it."
Residents of the Sherman Avenue apartment building appear to have had no idea of the operation. The dogs appear to have had their vocal chords damaged to prevent them from barking and were never let outside.
They have been moved to a temporary shelter for evaluation by the ASPCA's emergency response medical team.