Dog fighting ring broken up
July 13, 2007 (WLS) -- The Cook County Sheriff's Department is investigating a dog-fighting ring they discovered in the south suburbs. The sheriff's department said they found as many as 20 dogs used for fighting in a South Holland home.
Those dogs have been removed from the home and the man who lives in there is now in custody. Cook County authorities expect to have charges filed against him, possibly by the end of Friday.
Cook County authorities have told ABC7 that a concerned citizen tipped them off about all the animals. The citizen was concerned about the conditions that the animals were living in so authorities kicked off an investigation that started back in May.
On Friday, authorities found several dogs from puppies to older dogs, injured animals to dogs that were in tip-top shape for fighting. Authorities said most of them were found in a barn behind the home. Authorities also said this particular bust also has historical significance.
"Today we made the largest seizure of fighting dogs in the history of the State of Illinois," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. "We presently have 37 dogs that we have taken from this house."
In addition to the dogs, authorities also found three treadmills that they say presumably were used to train the dogs. Authorities found drugs that they believe were used to enhance the performance of the dogs. Authorities said they also found a boa constrictor, crack cocaine inside of the home, and that this bust has certainly surprised the neighborhood.
"I didn't know anything about it. I did complain to them about the stench," said neighbor Charles Dixon. "I talked to them about the dog barking. I thought it was all taken care of."
"It's sad how people treat the animals, they are like people to me," said neighbor Leticia Ruffins. "I love animals and this is just horrific."
Authorities said the man who is in custody has a history in this area. He has already been ticketed on other animal-related charges. Authorities said more than a year ago the man was already convicted for attending a dog fight that took place near Pontiac, Illinois.
Authorities do not believe that the dog fights were being held at the South Holland home but they do believe this is where they were being born and bred.
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