Michael Vick


Taking aim at the illegal gambling that fuels dog fighting

Dogfighting Laws
DC - In 1976, Congress outlawed interstate promotion of animal fights and the transportation of animals across state lines for fighting, with penalties of up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The fine was later increased to $100,000. That [May] law, with penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, does not list dogfighting but does include gambling.
www.washingtonpost.com / August 22, 2007

Finnish Police: Illegal dogfights organised in Southern Finland
FINLAND - In dogfights, two dogs are placed in a pit to fight each other for the spectators entertainment and potential gambling. As far as is known, dogs have been trained for fights prior to the clandestine gambling events.
www.hs.fi / 8-14-07

City Police, Health Officials Launch Dogfighting Task Force
MD - City police plan to crack down on dogfighting, saying the often cruel sport is part of a criminal culture that includes drug dealing and illegal gambling. Vick's indictment has prompted protests against the National Football League and placed dogfighting under scrutiny. "This relates directly to community safety," Sharfstein [health commissioner] said. "If we can break up rings of dogfighting, it will have an impact on neighborhoods."
www.wbaltv.com / July 27, 2007

Dog fighting a real problem in Ohio
OH - Dog fighting, in addition to being cruel, vile and disgusting, is illegal. Training animals to become slaves to killing other animals for the entertainment of humans is a despicable act... Many of the activities surrounding illegal dog fights include drug trafficking and illegal gambling -- two additional and very serious crime threats to our communities in Ohio.
www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com / 7/24/07

Expert says fights occur in Ontario
CANADA - Organized dogfighting is happening "all the time" in Ontario, Offenders are well-organized and are usually involved in other criminal activities, such as weapons and drug trafficking.
www.thestar.com / Jul 19, 2007

Out of the South: Dogfighting on the rise
VA - April, Goodwin added the NFL star, who denies knowledge of dogfighting, to a huge database he oversees. The 20,000 names in the database include known and suspected dogfighters... Also on the list is "Fat Bill" Reynolds of Virginia, convicted in 2001 of transmitting images of fighting dogs across state lines and sentenced to 30 months after Tant testified against him before a federal grand jury. "It's clear that when you have dogfighting, drugs and gambling and other criminal subcultures follow," Plowden said. "We want to drive it out of South Carolina." In Ohio this year, 28 people were indicted in state and federal court after an inquiry by state investigators and a federal task force.
www.chicagotribune.com / Bill Burke / July 5, 2007

Area takes lead nationally in battling dogfighting
OH - A federal law that took effect in May authorizes felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export relating to organized animal fighting. Dogfighting has been linked to other illicit activities such as illegal gambling and drug trafficking, and can be an indicator of spousal and child abuse, she said.
www.daytondailynews.com / Ben Sutherly / June 20, 2007

Appeal after baiters raid badger sett
UK - BADGER baiters have raided a sett in a Glasgow crematorium. The culprits were trying to catch the badgers and force them to fight dogs in illegal gambling rings.
www.eveningtimes.co.uk / Chris Musson / 5-10-07

Congress Sends President Bush Anti-Animal Fighting Bill
DC - Critics say animal fighting... Can also spawn other criminal activity, such as illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, and gang activity.
www.foxnews.com / April 11, 2007

Bartlett bill will help thwart animal fighting To the Editor:
MD - Animal fighting not only fosters unspeakable cruelty to animals, but also spawns other criminal activity, such as narcotics traffic, illegal gambling, public corruption, and violence toward people.
www.times-news.com / April 09, 2007

House passes Gallegly bill against animal fights
CA - The House of Representatives, on a 368-39 vote, recently passed a bipartisan bill that makes violations of federal animal fighting law a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, "Local police and sheriffs are increasingly concerned about animal fighting, But also because of the other crimes that often go handinhand, including illegal gambling, drug trafficking and acts of human violence,"
www.toacorn.com / April 5, 2007

Dogfighting bust show how crime is becoming more of a focus
OH - A sting at a warehouse where authorities say people gathered around a plywood ring to await a dogfight illustrates how investigators are paying more attention to the crime, officials say. Besides dogfighting, the arrests resulted in charges of drug trafficking, gambling, possession of a firearm and interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. A federal judge ordered the dogs euthanized. Markarian said the animals had been abused and trained to fight and would have been dangerous had they been adopted as pets. "It almost looked like a gambling casino in the setting," Dann (OH Attorney General) said.
www.ohio.com / Associated Press / JAMES HANNAH / Apr. 03, 2007

NRA lobbying slows bill to restrict animal fighting
DC - DC - Objections from the National Rifle Association and a hold put on the bill by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have slowed action on the measure, called the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act. The bill's proponents also argue that federal attention is necessary because cockfighting is closely associated with such national health issues as the spread of avian flu, and several other interstate crimes, including illegal gambling and narcotics trade.
www.kansascity.com / Chicago Tribune / Karoun Demirjian / Mar. 29, 2007

Dog Fighting Ring Centered Around Tri-State Man
OH - In the secret world of dogfighting, police say he's known as O.G. or Rastaman and 46 year old Terry Kendrick who is a father from College Hill faces state and federal charges. Kendrick faces federal animal fighting and illegal gambling charges plus state indictments of possessing and trafficking marijuana and dogfighting.
www.fox19.com / March 27, 2007

Brutal world of dogfighting comes to light
TX - Two gunmen broke into a house full of sleeping dogs, rifled through the place looking for a stash of cash, then shot the homeowner in the leg as dozens of angry pit bulls rattled their cages and strained their chains. They were trying to torture him into revealing where he had hidden $100,000 in cash, the amount wagered in a single high-stakes dogfight two weeks earlier south of Houston. "This dogfighting deal is right under our noses. It's a big deal ... probably as big as the underworld drug business. It's everywhere," said Det. Sgt. Kenny Dagle, the Liberty County sheriff's investigator... "Texas has historically been a hub of organized dogfighting," Goodwin said from his headquarters in Washington. "I would estimate there are tens of thousands of dogfighters in the United States." But as vicious fighting dogs - trained on a makeshift treadmill and forced to swim to exhaustion in an open tank of water - they could bring as much as $1 million on the black market that trades in the animals, officials said. "But what really caught my attention," he [U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-WI] said, "was the evidence that a lot of organized crimes and violent crimes are linked to the underworld of bird- and dogfighting."
www.kansascity.com / McClatchy Newspapers / Jack Douglas Jr. / Aug. 30, 2006

MU Law School trains animal abuse investigators
MO - Leading a session Tuesday about dog and cock fighting, as part of an animal cruelty investigations course, she recounted a case she worked on that involved two brothers shooting each other over a dispute involving a dog fight riding on $56,000. Part of MacDonalds [investigator] job is to stop people from holding and gambling on illegal animal fighting rings.
columbiamissourian.com / Missourian News / ASHLEY THOMAS / March 16, 2006

Animal activists rally against dog racing, slots
MA - The act ["Dog Protection Act"] would strengthen laws against organized dog fighting and increase penalties for harming law enforcement and guide dogs.
www.lowellsun.com / NATALIA PELAYO / 03/01/2006

Senate should toughen penalties for cockfighting
SC - WERE GLAD TO SEE senators taking an interest in outlawing South Carolinas up-and-coming bloodsport of hog-dog fighting, which pits attack dogs against wild hogs whose razor-sharp tusks have been sawed off to make them practically defenseless. Promotes illegal gambling, invites political corruption and gives legitimate hunting a bad name. House to cave: Make the penalties for cockfighting, and the rules for prosecution, the same as for other animal fighting.
www.thestate.com / Feb. 28, 2006

Cracking Down On Dog Fighting
ID - Last year, the first attempt failed by state animal welfare advocates who tried to make organized dog fighting in Idaho a felony. "These are people who engage in training dogs to attack each other in an arena situation for the purpose of gambling," said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, Director of the Idaho Humane Society. "Drugs are involved, money laundered, illegal gambling," said Trail.
www2.kbcitv.com / Kiersten Throndsen / January 5, 2006

The fight against dogfighting
MO - As a special investigator for humane law enforcement at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, MacDonald has been involved in undercover investigations of major dogfighting and cockfighting rings, as well as other animal-cruelty arrests and convictions. "You know that if it's going on in New York and Chicago, it's going on in Missouri." A few years ago I got chased out of a place on the East Side where they were holding a dogfight. In a church. As a fundraiser." Steve Kaufman, director of operations for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, said that animal fighting has become a billion-dollar business. Gassner said she is also "hearing a lot of the kids talking about corner dogfighting, where they just stand on the corner with their dogs and solicit fights." One reason law enforcement officials need to crack down on enforcing animal-fighting laws is that animal fighting is so closely related to other illegal activities, especially gambling, drugs and weapons. Dogs used for fighting suffer severe injuries and get no veterinary care. Many are starved, tortured, abandoned and killed. Even if you just suspect that illegal animal-fighting activity is going on, call your chief of police and report it, VanKavage said. Remind your law enforcement officials that animal fighting is against the law and that they need to enforce the law.
www.stltoday.com / Sarah Newman / 08/12/2005

Pet thefts prompting dog-fight questions
IN - Webster County authorities are investigating a suspected dog-fighting ring after a rash of canine thefts in the area. Stine said he believes the dogs are being stolen for one of two reasons -- a suspected illegal dog-fighting ring being operated in Webster County or to sell to puppy mills. "The animals we found were pretty chewed up," he said, which led police to believe the dogs are being used to fight. Stine said anyone involved in a dog-fighting ring can be charged with cruelty to animals and illegal gambling.
reg.courierpress.com / Evansville Courier & Press / BETH SMITH / February 10, 2005

FL - This morning, PETA sent an urgent plea to State Attorney William N. Meggs, urging him to vigorously prosecute William Randall of Gadsden County. Randall faces 38 charges in connection with authorities reported December 30 discovery of a dogfighting operation in Sawdust. According to news sources, authorities also discovered drugs, firearms, and weights likely used to train the dogs. Mersereau also points out that dogfighting is almost invariably associated with drugs, weapons, and illegal gambling.
www.peta.org / For Immediate Release: / January 18, 2005

LA - This morning, PETA sent an urgent plea to District Attorney Paul D. Connick Jr., urging him to vigorously prosecute five Kenner and Metairie residents who face charges stemming from their reported attendance at a November 26 dogfighting event. Furthermore, dogfighting is invariably linked to illegal gambling and the presence of illicit drugs and weapons. Raids on animal-fighting operations frequently bring with them the discovery of major drug networks and the seizure of large caches of firearms. Violent crimes are also commonly associated with blood sports.
www.peta.org / December 21, 2004

Backyard brutality
- It's everywhere," said Varentoni, a warden with Kane County Animal Control. It's part of an increasing trend of animal fighting in farther-out, secluded areas, while the more typical urban dog fights associated with gangs continue to be a problem in Cook County, officials say. Animal fighting is part of modern gang culture, which considers owning powerful dogs a sign of machismo, police say. Gamblers looking to avoid taxes on their winnings seek out cockfights and dog fights, generating an interest that encourages others to start up more fighting rings. Officials say the problem has been rising for the last decade. In organized ring fighting, officials say, thousands of dollars in illegal gambling money can trade hands during a series of fights called a derby. That amount of money attracts other vices, which can spill out into the community, including the stealing of innocent pets. Chicago has so many dog fights that it has a special task force dedicated solely to investigating them, Johansen said. Many of the farms and homes investigated for animal fighting have children present, and, officials say, A felony conviction usually hinges on arriving during the fighting and betting, although sometimes a case can be built with a combination of circumstantial evidence including score sheets, stacks of cash, drugs and injured animals.
www.dailyherald.com / Chicago Daily Herald / Tona Kunz / 12/5/2004

Wellston sets park hours to fight crime
MO - Longtime resident Mary Bush said that in the past month she tried three times to take her young grandchildren to Isabella Park. "The kids couldn't use the slide or do anything there, because there were men gambling right there and they had big dogs tied up by the equipment," she said.
www.stltoday.com / STERLING LEVY / 06/21/2004

123 arrested in deadly Georgia dog fight
GA - Police raided a rural house and found a blood-soaked dog fight arena where fans had gathered for a night of gambling with a winner-take-all pot of $50,000. Deputies seized about a dozen guns, several kilograms of marijuana and cocaine and more than a quarter of a million dollars, Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Mitchell said.
www.kansascity.com / Associated Press / Jan. 19, 2004

Grim surroundings disguise the high-stakes gambling of dog fights
CA - The large front room, which included a counter, cabinets and formerly kitchen appliances, was the site of the ply board dog fight ring which was in use when law enforcement arrived on the scene Saturday night. A hot plate was plugged in and fried chicken and barbecue were being served by a young child to those seated around the ring observing the fighting animals. But probably the most disturbing sight was the blood, lots of blood. One suspect was found with $20,000 in his pocket. Another man was found to have a Glock handgun in the waistband of his pants.
www.citizenonline.net / BARBARA KNOWLES / 1-19-04

Authorities seize pit bull in St. Louis
MO - While no one reports an increase in dog fighting arranged by people, area animal control officers say they've taken in more pit bulls - the animal of choice for the illicit gambling sport - this year than normal. Once popular in rural areas, they have been gaining urban popularity for the past 30 years, leading to organized gambling and dog fights, said Rob Chesser, co-founder of the national group, Pit Bull Rescue Central.
StLToday.com / Post-Dispatch / HANNAH BERGMAN / 07/30/2003

Police uncover dogfight operation
PA - State police have arrested six people in connection with an elaborate multicounty dogfighting ring in which wagering could go as high as $50,000 and in which badly injured or nonperforming animals sometimes faced electrocution. The arrests followed a 1 1/2-year investigation during which undercover state troopers infiltrated the network and purchased training equipment, steroids and, in one case, a device made out of plastic pipe, an extension cord and alligator clips used to electrocute dogs. Lt. Bivens displays photographs of five of the six men arrested following the investigation of a multi-county dogfighting ring. On separate occasions, Henderson also sold the trooper steroids, a portable weighing device and the $45 shocking device made out of plastic polyvinyl chloride pipe. A confidential informant told troopers that a similar device had killed a dog when it was activated. "It was kind of the cleanest way they were able to come up with to euthanize a dog," McClelland said. He [Lt. Bivens] said spectators and participants in the dogfighting ring came from diverse socioeconomic classes. Among the items confiscated during various raids were four handguns -- evidence, authorities said, of just how serious the dogfighting business is.
Mark Belko / November 02, 2002