Paws of Justice: Over 120 Dogs Saved, 8 Apprehended in NJ Dogfighting Sweep

Paws of Justice: Over 120 Dogs Saved, 8 Apprehended in NJ Dogfighting Sweep

According to officials, a suspected dogfighting network that operated over several sites in southern New Jersey resulted in the rescue of over 120 canines and the charging of eight individuals.

Attorney General Matthew Platkin stated on Friday that law enforcement officers carried out search and seizure warrants in Atlantic and Cumberland counties on Wednesday in connection with an alleged dogfighting ring in Cumberland County.

Platkin claimed that more than 120 canines who had been bred and trained for combat had been retrieved from various homes.

“Profiting from dogfighting is callous, brutal, and cruel,” Platkin stated. “These animals are born into lives of abuse, suffering, and violence, culminating with hours-long fights and frequently these dogs’ slow and painful deaths. The alleged illegal activities that were uncovered by this investigation will not go unpunished.”

At a press briefing on Friday, Platkin called the search and rescue effort the biggest dogfighting ring bust in the state.

According to a news release from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, eight people were charged and arrested after a “intensive investigation” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Division of Criminal Justice, and the New Jersey State Police.

Bruce Low Jr., 44, of Milmay in Atlantic County is the individual suspected of being in charge of the dogfighting network, according to the Attorney General’s Office for New Jersey. He is accused of twelve crimes, including money laundering, conspiracy, racketeering, and animal abuse.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office also said that two limited liability corporations, many members of Low’s family, and other suspected co-conspirators were charged in relation to the dogfighting network.

Paws of Justice: Over 120 Dogs Saved, 8 Apprehended in NJ Dogfighting Sweep

The Humane Society reports that some canines had serious scarring and untreated wounds. Emaciated dogs included many that were nursing or pregnant.

Superintendent Patrick Callahan of the State Police stated at the press conference that the rescue operation that took place last week was the outcome of an investigation that lasted more than two years.

According to Platkin, a group of animal care experts assessed the dogs and moved them to safety when a squad of New Jersey State Police arrived on the site before daybreak on Wednesday.

In “barren pens and cages,” dogs and pups were found spread across many buildings, according to a news release issued by the Humane Society of the United States on Friday. Some others were discovered in outdoor enclosures or on heavy chains, uncovered in the weather.

However, the Humane Society said that “many dogs eagerly greeted responders with wagging tails and kisses, while others hunched over and peered at the responders” despite the difficult circumstances.

In the instance of dogfighting, companies are also charged

It is suspected that the construction company Kisdir Group and Royal Bull Kennels, both located in Cumberland County, laundered money obtained through illegal means.

Royal Bull Kennels, Inc. “was quite simply in the business of buying and selling fighting dogs for profit and taking substantial stud fees from other breeders to breed their dogs with RBK’s dogs,” said Platkin.

Racketeering charges have been brought against five individuals of Maurice River Township: Terri A. Low, 67; Bryce J. Low, 20; Coy Glenn Dickenson, 58; Mark Runkle, 42; and William McClinton, 68. Travis Garron, 38, of Port Elizabeth, and Roosevelt Hart IV, 29, of Milmay, are also charged with racketeering.

Low is the mother of the alleged leader, Bryce Low is his son, and Roosevelt Hart IV is his son-in-law, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. A few of those defendants are also accused of crimes involving dogfighting and money laundering.