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Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010County: Douglas
Alleged: Manuel Espinoza-Avalos
The Nebraska Humane Society is offering a $1,000 reward for information on a possible dogfighting operation.
Officials said the reward is the result of the seizure of 13 pit bulls living in filthy living conditions at 26970 Pawnee Road in western Douglas County.
The dogs were confiscated Wednesday following a court case in which Manuel Espinoza-Avalos, 33, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for animal cruelty and no kennel license. The conviction followed the seizure of four dogs at the same location back in November.
Espinoza-Avalos was also taken into custody by federal officials based on his immigration status.
Investigators said information was developed during the investigation that indicated the dogs were being bred and sold for the purpose of dogfighting. No felony charges have been filed because the NHS doesn't have the evidence needed to take the owner to court.
The fate of the pit bulls rests on medical and temperament tests. NHS spokesman Mark Langan said the dogs show no aggression, but numerous tips have shed light on the dark purpose of the pups.
"From the information that we've developed so far, this is a much wider operation," he said.
Espinoza-Avalos' property has been rented out for eight years, according to his friend, Mike Schneider.
"The dogs were well taken care of -- no fighting, no nothing. They were the nicest dogs," Schneider said.
He said Espinoza-Avalos gave the dogs adequate food and water, and never took them off the property.
Schneider said his friend actually took dogs in that had been rescued from dogfighting situations and cared for them.
Langan said officials still believe a dog fighting operation is under way, and are asking people with information to come forward and call 444-7800. Callers can remain anonymous.
NHS also said 11 pit bulls were seized from Espinoza-Avalos’ property in Sarpy County on Dec. 22, 2004, on a cruelty complaint.
- ketv.com Jun 3, 2010
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