Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14495
Classification: Fighting
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Thursday, Aug 28, 2008

County: Kent

Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendants/Suspects:
» Terah Moore
» Carla Ridgeway
» Elsie Dowghty
» Burnette Dowghty
» John Zimmerman

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

Police have arrested two people in connection with a suspected dog-fighting ring in Dover.

Officers with Delaware Animal Care and Control and Dover police arrested Terah Moore and Carla Ridgeway after a search last week at a home on West Denneys Road.

Police reported finding several dogs, dog fighting paraphernalia, equipment used to train the dogs, photos, and a video that documented a dog fight.

The 16 dogs in the house were turned over to the Kent County SPCA. Ten of them are puppies. All are pit bulls or pit bull mixes.

Officers say they had to euthanize three aggressive adult dogs.

Authorities say Ridgeway and Moore are facing 23 charges, including eight felonies.


Case Updates

A court has convicted four people from Dover in connection with dogfighting in Delaware. Terah Moore and and Carla Ridgeway pleaded guilty to felony counts, including owning and possessing animals used for dogfighting and conspiracy.

Elsie Dowghty and Burnette Dowghty pleaded guilty to lesser charges, including animal neglect and conspiracy. Prosecutors said the dogfight in question happened at a home they owned and rented to someone else.

Officers say dogfighting is a difficult crime to prove, but they do have three more Kent county residents awaiting trial for those charges. Officers say they don't know how big this dogfighting ring could be.

With the help of a videotape, one that showed an actual dogfight and people involved, officers say they were able to get the recent convictions.

There were 16 dogs seized from Moore's home back back in late August, 10 of them puppies. The puppies have been put up for adoption. The adult dogs, officers say, had to be euthanized.

Moore and Ridgeway are on probation, facing fines and can't own another dog for 15 years.

Delaware Animal Control officers say the investigation about a dogfighting ring in Delaware is far from over. With one list, they say they hope to catch more people involved. Animal control officers say dogfighting is a bigger problem than people think it is in Delaware.

Officers say over the past nine months, their dogfighting investigation has grown, charging more and more people with being involved.

"I'm not surprised, but I'm appalled, because I think it's awful people use animals as devices and not consider them as pets," said Milford resident Anna Nordberg.

Officers say during a search of one of the susect's homes, John Zimmerman, they found a list of about 25 names and phone numbers that they suspect could also be involved in dogfighting.

Some of those people live out of state. Officers say they're currently working with SPCA's in other states like Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas to try and find these people.
Source: WBOC.com - May 24, 2009
Update posted on Jun 16, 2009 - 12:25PM 
A 30-year-old Dover man arrested for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl was also charged last week with operating a dogfighting ring in Dover, police said.

Terah K. Moore, of the 5700 block of West Denneys Road, was charged Tuesday with second-degree rape and committed to the Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Moore and Carla Ridgeway, of the West Denneys Road address, were each charged Aug. 28 with 14 felony counts of cruelty to animals, being a spectator at a dogfighting event, five counts of owning an animal for dogfighting, and conspiracy.

Ridgeway was released on bail, while Moore remained jailed on the rape charge.

According to court records, state probation and parole officers went to Moore's home to check on him last Wednesday, and found 15 pit bulls -- 10 of them puppies -- living under inhumane conditions.

"Some of the animals were forced to live in crates filled with large amounts of urine and fecal matter," police said.

Others were kept in enclosed areas where the floor was covered with urine and feces, police said.

The adult dogs had scars and wounds consistent with dogs used for dogfighting.

Animal Control Officers also recovered a spring pole in the backyard used to train dogs for fighting, medications used to treat dogs for bite wounds, a scale in the garage used to weigh the dogs prior to fighting and assorted dog pedigrees and other documents, according to court records.

Also found was a video tape of a dog fight held on March 3, 2007, which depicts Moore and Ridgeway participating and watching the dog fight.
Source: Delaware Online - Sept 4, 2008
Update posted on Sep 6, 2008 - 9:54AM 

References

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