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NYPD, ASPCA rescue 20 pit bulls allegedly used for dog fighting

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JAMAICA, Queens (PIX11) — Twenty emaciated and scarred pit bulls have been rescued from a Queens home that was allegedly the site of dog fighting.

Officers of the 113th Precinct, along with the newly formed NYPD Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad and the ASPCA Investigative team, executed a warrant at a residence on 196th Street in Jamaica on Thursday.  The dogs were found inside crates and cages at the back of the home.

Methamphetamine was also found at the scene.

The dogs were taken to the ASPCA’s main office for medical care. The organization will be providing ongoing care and enrichment for the dogs.

Addison Holder, 44, and Keisha Hall, 33, were arrested at the scene and charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty, animal fighting and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Matthew Bershaker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “Through our partnership, the ASPCA and the NYPD are determined to protect New York City’s animals from this form of cruelty and bring their abusers to justice.”

If you are interested in adopting one of the dogs or the many other animals in need of homes, contact the ASPCA at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120 or visit their website.



  • Twigg

    I’m sorry, but who in the (blank) would adopt a scarred up dog from a fighting ring? Keep these fighting-trained, aggressively-bred killing machines outta my neighborhood!

    • Lady D

      Twigg, I would, and I would move right next to you! Don’t be like society, ignorant. You should see the 180 degree change an animal like the American pit bull terrier can do. You see the love in their eyes and they become your best friend. Once you give a dog a chance, you become their family. To them, you’re part of the pack. Educate yourself and stop being so ignorant!!!! Society gave pitbulls the bad rep. FYI did you know at one point they were known to be the best nanny dogs? No you didn’t, I bet. That’s because you’re probably busy listening to the social media and closing your eyes to such a wonderful breed like everyone else.

    • annquirk

      Twigg – Your ignorance is only surpassed by your hatred.

      As far as keeping a living being out of your neighborhood, I’d like to speak for all the other members of my Lower Connecticut town in saying I’m very happy hateful people like you will never be able to afford living here…..I don’t want “people” like you as our neighbors.

    • Billy Hunt



      In analyzing nonfatal dog bite injuries we find an increase in serious injuries each year. A
      study was done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Center for
      Injury Prevention (view study here) which showed in 1994 that 333,700 patients were
      treated for dog bites in emergency departments (EDs) and in 2001 there were 368,245
      patients treated in EDS’s.

      A study was done by the American Canine Foundation which shows that where breed
      bans have been enacted dog bite incidents reports have increased. Based on current
      dog data, banning ten breeds of dogs from a city will not reduce dog bites given the ratio
      between mixed breeds compared to purebred dogs. Strong laws that penalize the
      owners, regardless of the breed are what is needed.

      These types of laws are valid, have merit and are not vague or capricious. ACF supports
      laws that hold owners accountable for their dog’s behavior. Laws need to declare a dog
      potentially dangerous when it menaces a human, or when they bite a human or
      domestic animal. The owners need to be cited and placed under restrictions. A second
      offense should automatically declare the dog dangerous and call for a misdemeanor
      charge against the owner.

    • Billy Hunt

      Members of the National Animal Control Association, the ASPCA, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and many other canine welfare groups deal with aggressive dogs on a regular basis. So do these major animal organizations support breed-specific legislation? No. In fact, none of these professional groups do. Read their position statements and find out why not.

      (alphabetic order)

      American Bar Association (ABA)

      American Dog Owners Association (ADOA)

      American Humane

      American Kennel Club (AKC)

      American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

      American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

      American Working Dog Federation (AWDF)

      Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)

      Best Friends Animal Society

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

      Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

      International Assocation of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)

      International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)

      National Animal Control Association (NACA)

      National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA)

      National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI)

    • Billy Hunt

      Draft Policy on Dangerous Dog Strategies and Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

      Animal Aid supports the creation of evidence based regulatory policy.
      While enforcing the enacted legislation, Animal Aid would seek to replace Breed related legislation aimed at reducing dog bite statistics on the grounds that:

      • BSL does not reduce the number of dog bites.
      • BSL does not address the number of bites that arise from other breeds and cross-breeds.
      • BSL ignores the fact that there may be highly sociable and well adjusted individuals in any breed.
      • The identification of Pitbull Terriers (the breed under scrutiny at present) and other banned breeds from visual standards cannot be determined with complete relaibility.

      The Facts

      • Studies have shown that BSL has not reduced bites in the UK (Klaassen, Buckley, & Esmail, 1996), Germany (Schalke, Ott, & von Gaertner, 2008; Ott, Schalke, von Gaertner, & Hackbarth, 2008) or the Netherlands (Cornelissen & Hopster, 2010) and BSL has been repealed in Germany and the Netherlands. Only one study supports the effectiveness of BSL and that incorporated many other strong initiatives to promote responsible ownership (Villalbi et al., 2010).

      • Incontestably identifying a ‘restricted breed’ dog is currently impossible. Visual determinations of breed made by a Victorian government appointed ‘breed panel’ of experts was overturned by legal challenge.

      • There are no definitive objective criteria, such as a DNA test, to identify a Pitbull Terrier.

      • The Division of Local Government in NSW reports that in 2005 only 1-2% of attacking dogs were identified as restricted breeds i.e. 98% were not. The percentage of bites attributable to restricted breed dogs has been steadily decreasing (0.06% in 2008 and 0.2% in 2009). Therefore, BSL could only ever be expected to reduce the number dog bites by a very small amount.

      • Any breed of dog breed can bite regardless of breed. The challenge is identifying which one is likely to do so before they actually do it. Recommendations

      • Identifying strategies that work elsewhere and implementing them. For example, Calgary, Canada has reduced dog bites and shelter euthanasia; increased desexing and regulatory compliance without BSL or mandating desexing. Incidentally, Calgary has a very high population of Pitbull Terriers
      (see http://www.petsmartcharities.org/resources/the-calgary-model-for-success.html).

      • Develop the ability to identify individual dogs that have a propensity to bite, regardless of species by establishing if there are genetic markers of canine aggression.

      • Provision of widespread, low-cost dog training targeting problematic and anti-social behaviour to proactively prevent issues developing.

      • Development of validated assessments for good temperament and only breeding with dogs that have passed such tests to reduce aggression. While all dogs have the ability to bite, the risk is mediated by the size and sociability of the dog, genetic factors, specific breed characteristics (which are the focus of current attention) and owner responsibility. The Calgary experience indicates that owner responsibility is the key variable. Animal Aid believes that society’s interests are best served by moving away from BSL and using a combination of strategies to reduce dog bites including rewarding responsible owners who register, socialise and train their dogs while rigorously enforcing registration requirements and owner liability for the offences that their dog’s commit. Reference List

      Cornelissen, J. M. & Hopster, H. (2010). Dog bites in The Netherlands: a study of victims, injuries, circumstances and aggressors to support evaluation of breed specific legislation. Veterinary Journal, 186, 292-298.
      Klaassen, B., Buckley, J. R., & Esmail, A. (1996). Does the dangerous dogs act protect against animal attacks: a prospective study of mammalian bites in the accident and emergency department. Injury, 27, 89-91.
      Ott, S. A., Schalke, E., von Gaertner, A. M., & Hackbarth, H. (2008). Is there a difference? Comparison of golden retrievers and dogs affected by breed-specific legislation regarding aggressive behavior. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 3, 134-140. Schalke, E., Ott, S. A., & von Gaertner, A. M. (2008). Is breed-specific legislation justified? Study of the results of the temperament test of Lower Saxony . Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 3, 97-103.
      Villalbi, J. R., Cleries, M., Bouis, S., Peracho, V., Duran, J., & Casas, C. (2010). Decline in hospitalisations due to dog bite injuries in Catalonia, 1997-2008. An effect of government regulation? Inj.Prev., 16, 408-410.

    • DA

      why would you be on this site, related to this article if you weren’t interested/concerned, obviously the 2 housing the abused dogs are your friends

  • niki

    Many of these dogs can be perfect for adoption. With the right owner and rehabilitation they can be great dogs. Many of Michael vicks dogs were adopted. I think being ignorant should stay out of your neighborhood more!

  • Branch

    ^^^Ignorance at its finest^^^
    Have you not seen where all the surviving Vick dogs are? Some of us are part of the solution and find the means to help and rehabilitate. I run a non for profit Pitbull Rescue and ignorant people like you are part of the problem.

  • Tracy

    Twigg your ignorance doesn’t really deserve a response. I’ll just remind you that the monster “killing machines” are the humans on the other end of the leash. God bless the officers and ASPCA for saving these babies.

  • Jacki

    For your information most of the dogs in fighting rings that are rescued go on to live loving non aggressive lives. They are not the so called “fighting trained aggressively bred killing machines” you refer to them as. I own two of my own rescues.

  • Terri

    These poor babies have been tortured.. my heart breaks for them..the thought of what they have endured… they need loving people to show them not all people are cruel… St Francis bless them…

  • Pat Webb

    I have rescued four pitties from my local shelter and 1 from a Texas shelter and they are the best dogs I have ever had the pleasure of adding to my family! Society needs to quit reading all the misleading articles and go to their local shelter or rescue and meet some of these innocent fur babies that are being killed by the thousands each and everyday and they will see for themselves it’s not the breed! It’s the uneducated people who give this breed a bad name as well as a death penalty! So very sad! Ty to the agencies involved in this rescue. I pray all the dogs find wonderful homes!

  • Marcela

    The culprit in this terrible situation happens to be the Human who taught these dogs to fight, not the dogs themselves. You, as a pet parent, have a huge part on how your puppy/dog turns out to be as an adult. Poor pit bulls. Those “humans” should be penalized heavily.

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