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Sunday, Mar 17, 2002County: Cook
Case Images: 1 files available
» Jose Garcia, Jr.
» Jose Garcia, Sr.
Dozens of animals, including exotic creatures, were rescued when police raided a Chicago house. Police received a lead indicating that an organized pit bull fighting ring was being operated out of the Little Village home. Jose Garcia, 32, is charged with cruelty to animals plus weapons and drug violations.
With this discovery, Chicago police have broken-up a huge pit bull fighting ring. Thirty-eight dogs were confiscated from the home, and police said most of the dogs were tortured and beaten. Police found the animals in the basement of the building. A lot of the animals were in areas covered in feces. A lot of the dogs were found in crates or kennels, while others were chained up, according to Chicago police Sgt. Steve Brownstein. He reported some, including young dogs, were attached to very heavy chains.
Investigators from Animal Control executed a search warrant after being tipped off that pit bulls were being raised to fight. Police indicated that at least one of the dogs was more than likely in a fight just Saturday night. He has fresh wounds on his face. Jacobson reported that many of the dogs will have to be euthanized.
"Those animals who have been fought and cannot be socialized with other dogs are more likely to be euthanized, said Sandy Brodie with the Office of Legal Affairs. "But," she added "that's not absolutely necessary. Younger dogs who have not been fought can be socialized and may be adoptable."
A police spokesman told Jacobson that the 32-year-old suspect lived here for the past 10 years with his elderly grandparents. The older couple has been removed from the house.
In addition to the cages and chains in the basement, police found a treadmill and heavy weights used to strengthen the dogs. They also recovered five turtles and a 3-foot three-foot alligator. It is not known why the exotic animals were being kept in the home.
Police also found marijuana, cocaine and surgical supplies. Found in the home were "antibiotics, treatments, ointments that people use when they fight animals," said Brownstein. "We have found a lot of dog fighters, when they do fight dogs, they will treat the animals themselves, anesthetize the animals, or sometimes they won't."
Investigators said members of the city's Environment Department are scheduled to examine the home. It may be condemned because of unliveable conditions.
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