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Saturday, Apr 7, 2007County: Westchester
Case Images: 1 files available
Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!
Animal-welfare workers rescued two starving and pregnant pit bulls from a condemned building that was being used to breed and train fighting dogs.
Ken Ross, chief of humane law enforcement for the Westchester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said authorities discovered the illegal operation after entering the dilapidated, multi-family house at 43 St. Josephs Ave. on April 7 morning.
"We found a tremendous amount of dog-fight training equipment," he said.
Ross said there were four homemade treadmills and heavy springs with leather ends hanging from the ceiling in the garage. Those devices are used to hang pit bulls by their teeth to increase jaw strength, he said. Heavy chains were attached to pillars in the garage, and syringes, medications, surgical gloves and a scale were also found.
Inside the house were four metal cages and 10 chains attached to the radiators.
"The ceilings have come down, the floors are full of rubble and soaking wet," he said. "It's a real bad situation."
The two rescued dogs were tan, medium-size pit bulls that Ross described as some of the friendliest he had ever encountered, even though they were so skinny their ribs and spines were visible under their skin.
Ross said the dogs' sickly condition made it hard to guess their ages, but he speculated they were likely to have been turned into "bait" for training purposes after giving birth.
"I could tell they had many litters of dogs," he said. "They had been nursing up until recently."
Both animals were taken to an undisclosed veterinary clinic for emergency care.
Ross said authorities learned about the mistreated dogs from a n April 6 call to the city's animal shelter. The building's owner lives out of state, but was contacted through a former address in Carmel, Ross said. He gave authorities permission to enter his property.
Ross said he was working with Yonkers detectives to identify those responsible for the situation.
"With the amount of chains, it looks like it's been here for a while," he said.
Ross asked anyone with information to call the SPCA's confidential cruelty hotline at 914-941-7797.
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- The Journal News - April 8, 2007
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