A suspect was arrested and an investigation is under way after police recovered 15 pit bulls, dog fighting paraphernalia and a dog fighting manual from homes in Hennepin County. Police say they saved the dogs from almost-certain death.
According to the city of Minneapolis, officers from Minneapolis Animal Care & Control and the Minneapolis Police Department executed 10 search warrants at addresses that are all connected to a suspected dog fighter. Nine of the addresses were located in Minneapolis, and one was in New Hope. Two guns and narcotics were also found in the search.
Minneapolis Animal Care and Control has taken the dogs to its animal shelter. At least one of the dogs had visible cuts all over its body.
The suspect is expected to be charged with a felony for operating a dog fighting ring. At this point, the suspect’s name is not being released. Police will not say if they expect to arrest more people.
The dogs were saved from crude kennels. Most of the kennels were locked shut. Authorities say the dogs are in good condition and have a chance to lead a normal life after they are taken out of the fighting environment.
Illegal dog fighting also attracts illegal gambling. Authorities say the winning dog can bring in as much as $15,000 to the owner of the dog. Minneapolis investigators will not confirm if they are looking at illegal gaming as part of the investigation.
The city is reminding the public, “Dog fighting is a terrible crime that is harmful to not only the dogs involved, but the overall community as well. When there is dog fighting activity in a community those involved are often engaged in other criminal activity including narcotics, domestic violence and weapons.”
Anyone who suspects animal cruelty in their neighborhood is asked to call 311, and anyone who witnesses animal cruelty is asked to call 911.