Chester County dogfighting ringleader sentenced

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December 17, 2013 2:31:58 PM PST
A Chester County man accused of operating an especially cruel dog fighting ring was sentenced Tuesday to seven and a half to fifteen years in state prison.

Police say Shane Santiago and Laura Acampora treated their children like dogs and treated their dogs like no living creature should ever be treated.

When police raided their West Brandywine house in December of 2012, they found a blood spattered dog fighting arena in the basement. And they found the tools of torture that were used on dogs that failed to perform. Some were electrocuted, some were hanged and some were shot. One was left on the side of the road and burned to death in his cage.

Police also found five malnourished children in the house, ages 3 to 15, who had been living in squalor.

Police say Santiago admitted he had been involved in dog fighting since he was 12. They say he also admits he had hanged or electrocuted at least ten dogs.

Police say he kept up to 16 dogs at a time in kennels in the back yard of his rented house. The SPCA was able to rescue six of them, and many had been scarred in battle.

Investigators say Santiago had a dogfighting website that may lead to many more suspects both here and out of state. They say dog owners from up and down the east coast brought their dogs to Santiago's dogfighting arena.


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