Dog fighting ring broken up

May 20, 2009 3:00:58 PM PDT
A dog fighting ring has been broken up in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.It all started when police saw a group of men walking into a wooded area in the 100 block of Bunting Road.

Two pitbulls confiscated by police in Hamilton Township Monday are covered in bite marks and other injuries from a savage dogfight.

They're now recovering at an animal hospital in Columbus.

"Their skin is shredded, it's sutured now. Old wounds, old bruises, obviously previous fights," said Colleen Stevens of the Columbus Animal Hospital, describing the animals' injuries. "It was pretty nasty, their legs are swollen and puffy and painful for them to step on."

After seeing several individuals walk into the woods off Bunting Avenue and hearing the sound of barking dogs, police confronted three men as they left.

"He noticed one of the individuals had a pair a gloves on that was covered in blood and blood on his boots and he had a leashed pitbull, and that pitbull was covered in blood," said Capt. James Stevens of the Hamilton Township Police.

Police arrested five individuals on charges of fighting and baiting animals: Louis Medina, Black Allah and Jemar Conover of Trenton, and Jerome Dexter and Jermain Claridy of Morrisville. A sixth man fled.

Gary Hill, a long time animal control officer in Hamilton, described how the dog fights begin.

"They get their dogs in the ring, they start agitating the dogs, and once they release the dogs, the dogs know exactly what to do. Their jaws are very powerful," Hill said.

Veterinarians say they have treated animals for horrible injuries after dog fights.

"They will not let go, they will rip each other a part until one of them dies, very often. Its as bad as it gets," said veterinarian Dr. Howard Redlus.

People who live and work in the area, where children play regularly, are glad police caught the alleged dogfighters.

"I don't want nobody hanging around. They have no business here. That's private property," said Irene Ortolano of Hamilton Township.

The men arrested in this case could face jail time of they are convicted.

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