Thirty-six pit bulls were rescued from cruel conditions and three people were arrested in a sting on a dog-fighting ring on Long Island, authorities said Thursday.
One of the animals suffered a broken leg. Most had bite marks and scars, indicating they were being trained to fight to the death, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
“Dogfighting is an obscenely vicious and cruel form of animal abuse that tortures animals and endangers the safety of the public. It’s barbaric, despicable, and illegal,” said he said.
All of the pit bull terriers seized had fleas, dirty coats and long claws after being kept isolated and chained up on hard surfaces and in small kennels, he said.
Several of the animals also had parasites, according to Schneiderman.
“Unfortunately, two of the dogs had to be euthanized because they had been attacked by their mother,” he said in a prepared statement. “A third dog, named Sophie, had been so abused and tortured that the ASPCA determined that she had become a threat to humans and had to be euthanized as well.”
In New York, dogfighting and breeding and training dogs to fight is illegal and can carry penalties of up to four years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Suffolk Police carried out the sting in Wyandanch and helped with the investigation, dubbed Operation Bloodline.
Richard Davis, 34, Martin Newkirk, 49, and Taikeem Wheeler, were charged with multiple felony offenses for animal fighting, conspiracy and animal cruelty.