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  1. #1

    "Pat" Mahlon Patrick/T L Williams News and Updates

    More arrests in a Pima County dog breeding ring

    Posted: Feb 20, 2008 12:59 PM EST

    SWAT teams raided four homes Tuesday, one in the city and three in Pima County. They made six arrests: Emily Dennis, Robert Smith, Terry Williams, Juan Verdin and his wife, Zenadia Verdin and Mahlon Patrick.
    Authorities say Patrick is one of the top three fight dog breeders in the nation.

    Authorities also found about 150 dogs, many baring the scars of dog fighting, more than 50 guns and thousands of dollars in cash. The raids were the result of a nearly year long investigation.

    John Goodwin with the Humane Society of the United States says Patrick has been in the dog fighting business since the 70s.

    "[He] was known worldwide for two blood lines he originated. Two blood lines of fighting dogs. They go under the names Tombstone and Bolio," Goodwin said.

    He says these dogs are highly sought after for their stamina and fighting skills, ranging in prices from the thousands to the tens of thousands.
    "This world of dog fighting that so few people know very much about at all is really organized crime," Goodwin said.

    He says everyone involved has a part. He says Terry Williams, or "T.L.", ran the online registry for the operation.

    "All American Dog Registry was pit bull only. It wasn't the normal pit bull owners that were using them. It was dog fighters," Goodwin said.
    He says dog fight breeders use the site to get the registration papers to prove the dog's bloodline.

    Goodwin estimates there are about 40,000 people in the U.S. involved in the world of dog fighting. He says the Humane Society rewards up to $5,000 for information.

    http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=7899244&nav=HMO6

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  2. #2

    Notorious Dog Fighting Ring Busted

    Notorious Dog Fighting Ring Busted

    Arizona police have busted what they claim is one of the nation's largest and most notorious dog fighting rings.

    Six people are behind bars so far, including a man authorities say is one of the biggest dog fighting breeders in the country.

    Mahlon Patrick is now locked up while the future of more than 150 of his dogs is up in the air.

    More than 100 dogs were seized, including puppies and fighting dogs.

    One of them had recent bite marks.

    Detectives say it was a sure sign he was used for the blood sport.

    Inside the breeding barn the stench was so strong it was almost unbearable.

    Some of the animals had kennel cough and bite marks behind their legs and on on their ears.

    Investigators also seized more than 50 weapons from a mobile home, including $#@!ault rifles, long guns and hand guns.

    "It's pretty disgusting," said Humane Society Investigator Mike Duffey. "Animals are being bred for financial gain and not a lot of care involved with them. It's a dirty, filthy, disgusting place."

    Mahlon Patrick is facing charges of animal cruelty.

    Authorities say he's well known in the dog fighting business.

    "It's a man whose name has popped up in the underground dog fighting magazines that chronicle these brutal fights. He's been showing up in these magazines for years and years," said the Humane Society's John Goodwin.

    http://www.11alive.com/news/article_...storyid=111613


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  3. #3

    Pit Bulls in the Hands of the Court

    Pit Bulls in the Hands of the Court
    Posted: Feb 20, 2008 12:59 AM EST


    By J.D. Wallace, KOLD News 13 Reporter

    Neighbors on Orange Grove Road in Picture Rocks are familiar with the sounds of dogs coming from a nearby home.
    "God, you can hear those things barking all the time," said neighbor Yvette Shoupe.
    "I thought it was a dog kennel at least, because you can hear them every morning about six thirty yelping to be fed," said neighbor Tracey Weber.
    But the sight of sheriff's deputies surrounding the property caught everyone by surprise.
    "To wake up to a gun blast or stun grenade blast this morning was beyond anything," Shoupe said.
    Mahlon Patrick was one of the people arrested from the home, and is one of six people arrested on animal cruelty charges. He wouldn't talk to us from jail, but investigators said that he is part of a large pit bull fighting ring in the Tucson area that sends dogs around the country.
    "(He) has been known for decades to be into dog fighting," said Pima County Sergeant Terry Parish. He said that marks on one dog's hind leg were proof of biting from dog fighting. "We have to forensically analyze every animal. We have to identify their scars, have they been used for fighting."
    Investigators found one hundred ten pit bulls at the property on Orange Grove west of Tucson; ten needed emergency help. The rest remained at the property on Tuesday night. They willl be removed and cared for until the court decides their ownership.
    "Typically pit bulls that are used for dog fighting are not people aggressive. That's not to say they're still not possibly dangerous animals. For that reason, we have them evaluated on an animal by animal basis," Sgt. Parish said.
    Investigators raided four locations Tuesday morning and seized a total 150 dogs. They found twenty two pit bulls from one location, eighteen at another, and some weapons from a fourth. They detained nine people total, and arrested six.
    "I think anybody that's capable of doing what they do to animals is dangerous," Sgt. Parish said.
    "You don't see raids out here in Picture Rocks; this is some Tucson bulls--t!" Shoupe said. "Seriously, that's why I live out here, not to deal with this!"
    Those dogs still legally belong to the suspects. The court will likely decide in about a month if the dogs should be taken away. While ten dogs received emergency care from the county veterinarian, forty dogs went to an undisclosed location, both to protect evidence and prevent theft. Sgt. Parish said that pit bulls can be worth as much as ten thousand dollars each to those in the dog fighting community.
    Along with Patrick, Emily Dennis, Robert Smith, Juan Verdin, Zenaida Verdin, and Terry Williams were also arrested on animal cruelty charges.


    http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?S=7896821

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  4. #4

    Dog Fighting Suspects Released From Jail

    Dog Fighting Suspects Released From Jail


    Posted: Feb 20, 2008 05:31 PM EST
    The bloodsport bust is into its second day. Wednesday, dog handlers took more dogs away from the property where they found 110 in Avra Valley.
    The six suspects rounded up in the four raids are all out of jail. They made their first appearances in video court Tuesday night. The lead investigator in the case asked the judge to impose a high bail on the suspects but the judge refused. All six were released with no bond. They are not allowed to return to any of the properties where dogs were found and they can not possess animals.
    Investigators say the suspects bred 150 dogs for fighting, trained them and sent them all over the country. Investigators say one suspect, Maylon Patrick, is considered among the top three dog fighting breeders in the nation.
    Early Wednesday, dogs were still being sent to Pima Animal Care Center to be evaluated. Investigators are keeping the 150 pit bulls in secret locations to protect them as they are kept as evidence.
    "It was really tragic and an eye opener for me to come here and see what I saw," explains Pima County Sergeant Terry Parish.
    He says the largest crime scene is the location West of Tucson, where investigators believe more than 100 dogs were bred and trained to be killers. The filthy kennels tell the story.
    "That would be a dirty pig pen, we've got animals walking around in their own feces and it's been there obviously for days."
    Parish says these squalid living conditions took a toll on the health of many of the dogs. Animal experts from the local and national Humane Society are examining every dog for injuries.
    "To live in filth and not get the care you deserve everyday on top of the fact that you're going to die a miserable death to me just made it so much more tragic."
    Investigators continue to search for any evidence left on the property as they release the dogs to safe locations. Geese, chickens and goats were also found.
    Jay Sabatucci with The Humane Society of the United States says busting this dog fighting operation is a setback for the underground industry that treats dogs as commodities.
    "It's about gambling, it's about money. These guys make money off these animals. They'll tell you they love them, they'll tell you this is a good American past time. This is a cruel, barbaric activity it's a felony and these people need to go to jail," says Sabatucci.
    The future of these animals is still unknown. Many of the dogs can not be rehabilitated but there's hope for some, especially the puppies who were less exposed to violence.


    http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp...4&nav=menu86_2


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  5. #5

    Seized dogs 'people-friendly,' county official says

    Seized dogs 'people-friendly,' county official says

    People-friendly and social. That's how Vicki Doraine, public services supervisor at the Pima Animal Care Center, described the pit bulls sent to the center after six people were arrested Tuesday on fight-dog breeding accusations.
    With the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the center has worked the past couple of days to accommodate 150 pit bulls seized in the case.
    The center is caring for the dogs and evaluating them. Some will remain at the property in the 12000 block of West Orange Grove Road where they were found.
    Of the dogs sent to the animal care center, including three litters of puppies, each has a kennel. Doraine said the pit bulls are separated from the other dogs at the center.
    To aid the intake process, which should end by Thursday, the Humane Society took in 19 dogs from Animal Care.
    Once the pit bulls have been processed, 56 will be placed under the care of Pima Animal Care. The pit bulls are legally owned by the individuals arrested in the case.
    Roberta Jensen, an attorney for two of the defendants, Terry Williams and Robert Smith, said she does not believe the dogs or owners were involved in dogfighting.
    The pit bulls will not be up for adoption until Pima County Superior Court releases the dogs to the custody of the county center.
    Jensen said she thought it is important, if those booked Tuesday are acquitted, that the dogs be returned to the owners in "better or in as good condition as when Animal Control took them."
    Deputy Dawn Hanke, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said the dogs will serve as evidence during the prosecution process.

    http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/ss/related/77569

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  6. #6
    THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA

    3450 N. Kelvin Blvd.
    Tucson, AZ 85716 (520) 327-6088

    February 19, 2008 Contact: Jenny Rose Community Relations Manager


    or Marsh Myers, Director of Community Outreach


    (contact by cell phone only)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    Page 1 of 2


    HSSA


    $#@!ISTING IN DOGFIGHTING OPERATION

    Right now, staff members with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona are on scene with the Pima County Sheriff*s Department and Pima Animal Care Center, helping authorities catalog and document evidence in today*s historic operation. HSSA is dedicating personnel, funds and kennel space to support this groundbreaking operation to target a sophisticated criminal dogfighting operation in our community.


    As a member of the Animal Cruelty Task Force, HSSA knows it is essential to support this operation in any way possible. Two teams of highly-trained HSSA animal handlers will spend the entire day side-by-side with animal control officers and sheriff*s detectives. They will help in any way possible, from cataloging information to working in treacherous conditions handling these often dangerous and vicious animals. HSSA staff members will be working with authorities to remove an unknown number of fighting and breeding dogs from the properties targeted in today*s operation.


    HSSA is stepping up by caring for dogs already housed at Pima Animal Care Center, in the event the dogs expected to be seized in today*s operations are taken to the county*s facilities.


    Since Friday, February 15th, HSSA has accepted 19 dogs from Pima Animal Care Center and is on standby to accept more, should the need arise. This is yet another example of the animal overpopulation problem in southern Arizona and the toll it exacts on our community every day.

    CONTINUED



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    : February 19, 2008 Page 2 of 2

    The Humane Society of the United States estimates as many as 40,000 people are involved in organized criminal dogfighting operations in the country. Today*s operation is targeting known dog fighters in our community, and could break the back of the underground, illegal dogfighting industry in Pima County.
    This vital operation cannot be completed without community support


    . HSSA has devoted a significant amount of staff members and funds to this operation, and the need for donations is critical. HSSA is being impacted by the poor economy, and the added stress of taking part in this massive operation is hitting the organization hard financially. Please donate! Your donations go to support HSSA in its rescue efforts, its anti-cruelty operations and finding a new home for the community*s orphaned animals. To make a donation, please call the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 327-6088 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, seven days a week, or visit our web site at www.hssaz.org.

    ###



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  7. Six suspects in dog-fighting case released from jail without bond

    Six suspects in dog-fighting case released from jail without bond
    Feb 21, 2008



    Six people suspected of supplying dogs to organized dog fighting rings across the country were released from the Pima County jail without bond.

    The Pima County Attorney's Office requested bail of $500,000 for each of the six people arrested in a county-wide raid Tuesday. But City Magistrate Michael Lex declined to set any bail at all, said Sheriff's Department Sgt. Terry Parish.

    According to authorities, deputies began investigating the ring last March after they received tips from Chicago police and the Humane Society of the United States.

    Officers in March had stopped a van carrying several fighting dogs and they developed information that led them to Tucson.

    One of the six arrested, Mahlon T. Patrick, 63, is believed to be among the top three breeders of fighting dogs in the country, investigators said.

    During the raid, investigators seized approximately 150 dogs, $10,000 in cash and more than 60 weapons ranging from revolvers up to $#@!ault-type weapons, Parish said.

    Much of the cash was found attached to the underside of a drawer at one suspect's house and authorities believe the weapons were used in trade, he said.

    Eleven of the dogs seized from Patrick's property required immediate medical attention because of their poor living conditions.

    Deputies are still gathering evidence today at a site near West Orange Grove and North Sandario roads, in the Picture Rocks area, just one-half mile from a Sheriff's Department substation, said Parish.

    Investigators have found three dead dogs on the property along with the skeletal remains of an unknown number of other dogs, he said.

    Since Tuesday's raids, the FBI, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have offered their $#@!istance in the investigation.

    Investigators are pouring over journals, logs, receipts and computers in the hopes of compiling more evidence against the defendants, Parish said.

    Additional charges and additional arrests are likely, Parish said.

    "We don't want to miss anything,” he said. “We're not interested in putting a dent in this crime ring. We want to destroy it and make sure they are incapable of re-starting it."

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  8. #8

    Remains of dogs found in shallow graves

    Remains of dogs found in shallow graves
    Posted: Feb 21, 2008 07:53 PM EST

    The remains of more than a dozen dogs were found behind the home believed to belong to a man authorites call a 'dog fighting kingpin.'

    On Tuesday, authorities seized more than 150 dogs from four homes in Pima County. The dogs are believed to be part of a dog fighting ring that operated here and allegedly sold fighters all over the country.

    Six arrests were made, including Mahlon Patrick, who authorities say is one of the biggest dog fighting breeders in the country.

    News 4 has learned, the FBI and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be $#@!isting the Pima County Sheriff's Department in the investigation. The USDA was the lead agency in the investigation involving Michael Vick.
    Today, investigators were back on the property where they made some very disturbing finds: more than half a dozen grave sites, where they found the remains of dogs, including puppies.

    Sgt. Terry Parish says it could be that the puppies: "were not of adequate size or they could have been used as a bait animal to get the blood lust going."

    Or, investigators say, the puppies could have had medical conditions and died. Evidence found near the puppies, seized earlier this week, indicates that the dogs had infections in their feet from standing in their own feces.
    Detective Theresa Deschenes, who's been working the case for a year, comes upon another site...and is amazed.

    She found a gravesite where a black plastic bag was buried. Inside, remains of a dog that hadn't been there long. The body had not yet started decomposing.

    And that could be very helpful to investigators in finding out how the animal died.

    Sgt. Parish tells us, "(PCSO) Sheriff Dupnik isn't just interested in putting a dent in this crime; we want to put it out of business and make sure it never starts again. Make sure these players never do this type of activity ever again."


    http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=7907995&nav=HMO6HMaW

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  9. Some question why blood sport suspects are out of jail

    Some question why blood sport suspects are out of jail
    Feb 22, 2008 01:04 PM

    After detectives uncover even more evidence from Mahlon Patrick's home, animal lovers like Mariana Parker wonder why he and five others, who are facing dog fighting charges, are out of jail.

    "They need to go back to jail. I have animals here that have been abused and traumatized and it's a very sad situation when the people aren't punished," Parker said.

    However, David Ricker with the Pima County Superior Court, says the judge looked at all the information, including all the documents and recommendations from pre-trial services. He says the judge agreed with pre-trial services, in that Patrick has ties to the community. He's lived here 33 years and isn't considered a flight risk, meaning they don't think he'll skip town. It's the same with all the others.

    "The judge makes a decision based upon the information they're supplied. Besides the pre-trial services work up, they will have input from the county attorney's office," Ricker said.

    But the county attorney says they recommended a $500,000 bond for each defendant. Same goes for the Sheriff's Department. Deputies who filled out the reports recommended high bonds.

    Parker says it's a disappointment.

    "They went to this place to rescue these animals and put these people in jail, and now they're loose. They're free again. It's not right," Parker said.

    "They've simply been charged with a crime and the investigation is ongoing and the case will take its course," Ricker said.

    Even though Patrick and his girlfriend were released without bond, both are under supervision of pre-trial services.


    http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp...4&nav=HMO6HMaW

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  10. 6 tied to dog- fighting free without bail

    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.22.2008

    Six people suspected of supplying dogs to organized dog-fighting rings across the country were released from the Pima County jail without having to post bail.

    The Pima County Attorney's Office requested bail of $500,000 for each of the six arrested in a countywide raid Tuesday. But City Magistrate Michael Lex declined to impose any bail, said Pima County sheriff's Sgt. Terry Parish.

    Lex agreed with a Pretrial Services recommendation that four of the defendants be released on their own recognizance and two should be monitored by Pretrial Services.

    Pretrial Services, which reviews defendants' eligibility for release, found the six accused have lived in Tucson an average of 28 years and therefore aren't considered flight risks.

    Anytime someone is arrested, Lex said there is the presumption they will be released on their own recognizance. Judges then take into consideration the nature of the offense, Pretrial Services' recommendation, prior offenses and pending cases so they can determine if the defendant is a danger to the community or a flight risk.
    "
    I knew there would be a lot of concern and speculation about the case, but it seemed to me to be an entirely appropriate decision based on those factors," Lex said.

    David Berkman, chief criminal deputy county attorney, said that although he wishes some sort of bail had been required, he respects the judge's decision.

    According to authorities, deputies began investigating the ring last March after they received tips from Chicago police and the Humane Society of the United States.

    Officers in Chicago stopped a van carrying several fighting dogs and they developed information that led them to Tucson.

    The six people arrested Tuesday were Mahlon T. Patrick, 63; Emily E. Dennis, 63; Robert C. Smith, 55; Terry L. Williams, 52; Zenaida Y. Verdin, 35; and Juan R. Verdin, 39.
    Patrick is believed to be one of the three major breeders of fighting dogs in the country, investigators said. He and Dennis are the two defendants who will be monitored by Pretrial Services.

    Patrick's attorney, Mark Resnick, would not comment Thursday, saying he had not yet met with his client.

    Smith's attorney, Roberta Jensen, expressed disgust with the media's portrayal of the defendants.

    Her client is innocent until proven guilty and yet the media is treating all of the defendants as though they are guilty, Jensen said.

    During the raid, investigators seized approximately 150 dogs, $10,000 in cash and more than 60 firearms varying from revolvers to $#@!ault-type guns, Parish said.

    Much of the cash was found attached to the underside of a drawer at one suspect's house and authorities believe the guns were used in trade, he said.

    He said 11 of the dogs seized from Patrick's property required immediate medical attention because of poor living conditions.

    Parish expressed disappointment with Lex's decision to release the defendants.
    "My personal opinion is that this really points to an education issue," Parish said. "Judges need to be educated on the severity of this type of crime. The death of these animals is guaranteed if law enforcement doesn't intervene."

    Deputies were still gathering evidence Thursday at a site near West Orange Grove and North Sandario roads, in the Picture Rocks area, just one-half mile from a Sheriff's Department substation, Parish said.


    Investigators have found three dead dogs on the property along with the skeletal remains of an unknown number of other dogs, he said, adding that since Tuesday's raids, the FBI, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have offered their $#@!istance in the investigation.


    Investigators are poring over journals, logs, receipts and computers in the hope of compiling more evidence, Parish said, and additional arrests are likely.


    "We're not interested in putting a dent in this crime ring," he added. "We want to destroy it."


    ● Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com.

    http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/226313

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  11. #11

    Hssa Offers Seized Animals For Adoption

    THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA
    3450 N. Kelvin Blvd.
    Tucson, AZ 85716 (520) 327-6088
    February 22, 2008 Contact: Jenny Rose Community Relations Manager
    (520) 321-3704 x 177


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    HSSA
    OFFERS SEIZED ANIMALS FOR ADOPTION

    Right now, several animals seized in Tuesday’s historic dogfighting bust are available for adoption at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. The victims in this case are not just the more than 150 dogs seized; other animals seized from one of the four properties targeted in Tuesday’s raids are also displaced.
    In Tuesday’s raids, authorities seized two goats, two geese, 30 chickens, 55 koi fish and one Oscar fish. The fish have already been placed in new homes, but the goats, geese and chickens are all currently at HSSA’s shelter (3450 N. Kelvin Blvd.) and are available for adoption.
    HSSA has also accepted 28 dogs to date from Pima Animal Care Center, to give that agency added flexibility in dealing with the housing and care of the pit bulls seized in Tuesday’s operation. These dogs are also available for adoption at HSSA’s shelter.
    None of the seized dogs are available for adoption at this time. Right now, they are considered evidence in the investigation, and will be cared for by county authorities until further notice.
    Tuesday’s raids which targeted four properties in the Tucson area resulted in the arrests of six people and the seizure of more than 150 dogs suspected of being used for breeding and dogfighting. This operation is the largest dogfighting bust in US history. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona applauds the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Tucson Police Department for targeting suspected criminals in southern Arizona, and taking a hard-line approach to eliminating this cruel industry in our community.


  12. Investigators continue to build case against accused ring of fight dog breeders

    Late last week, Pima County Animal Care officials were busy removing animals from a Picture Rocks property, the scene of what law enforcement authorities believe to be the epicenter of an extensive fight-dog breeding operation.

    Pima County Sheriff*s deputies raided the property, and three others, last Tuesday. The busts netted a man whom authorities say was one of the most renowned breeders of fighting dogs in the country.

    Mahlon Patrick, 63, who lives at the property in the 12000 block of West Orange Grove Road, was arrested on suspicion of cruelty to animals and dog fighting.

    Police found 115 dogs in kennels at the property, including three litters of puppies.

    “We have reason to believe that we have 30 to 40 generations of fighting dogs here,” said Sgt. Terry Parish with the Pima County Sheriff*s Department. Parish, who heads the department*s community problems unit, is also an Oro Valley Town Council member.

    The scene at Patrick*s compound the day after the raid remained grim, as investigators catalogued scores of caged animals. Many of the dogs showed the signs of fighting, according to investigators.

    Some dogs taken off the property also displayed angular limb deformation in their front legs, the result of generations of inbreeding, said Karter Neal, a Humane Society of Southern Arizona veterinarian aiding with the rescue effort.

    Before the dogs were removed, county and Humane Society staff performed physical examinations as trucks lined up to take the animals to undisclosed Pima County Animal Care facilities.

    The pit bulls, with reputations for fearlessness and ferocity, appeared hapless and terrified as animal care officials coaxed them from kennels laden with urine and feces.

    “They seemed very starved for attention,” said Marsh Meyers, director of community outreach for the Humane Society. “They*re not being socialized like normal companion dogs.”

    Investigators also unearthed at least three separate animal gravesites on the four-acre property.

    The corpses of six dogs, most of them young, were found buried on Patrick*s compound, Parish said.

    The presence of gravesites at the operation didn*t surprise Meyers, who said many in the dog fighting community live by the code “breed the best, bury the rest.”

    Other animals were also recovered from the scene, including 30 chickens, two geese, 55 koi fish and two goats.

    Patrick and Emily Dennis, who lived on the property, agreed to let the Humane Society take custody of the animals, said Amy Eades, the group*s president.

    The pair, released without bond, showed up at the property last Wednesday afternoon to pick up an automobile and clothing. Police barred Patrick from entering the compound, but Dennis was escorted to her trailer by a sheriff*s deputy.

    Calls to Patrick at a number found on his Web site, www.bolio.net, went unanswered.

    Scores of investigators spent much of last Wednesday, a day after the raid, sifting through mounds of evidence scattered across the property, a maze of dog kennels, dilapidated trailers and sheds.

    Corrugated steel separated dog cages in five locations.

    Police also found in barn a large freezer filled with bags of frozen milk. Parish thinks the bags contained dog*s milk stockpiled to feed puppies produced at the kennel.

    Because of the aggressive nature of the dogs, the result of selective breeding aimed at producing fight-worthy animals, it might have been necessary to hand-feed the puppies as a way to protect them from their mothers, Parish suggested.

    Law enforcement and Humane Society investigators believe Patrick has bred and cultivated at least two highly sought bloodlines of fighting dogs called Bolio and Tombstone.

    “Some of the dogs from these lines were showing up in Latin America and Europe,” Meyers said.

    Reviews of pit bull-related Web sites and discussion boards indicated that Patrick, known as “Pat” Patrick in pit bull breeding circles, is a near celebrity of the subculture.

    In 2001, Patrick received a lifetime award for breeding achievement from the American Dog Breeders $#@!ociation, a group that produces publications and a Web site devoted to pit bulls.

    Dozens of postings from one online forum called game-dog.com praised Patrick*s dogs.

    “Pat Patrick is the man who dedicated his life to breeding dogs … off Indian Bolio and thus creating this magnificent strain,” boasted one poster.

    On Patrick*s Web site, a message board boasts of dogs* bloodlines and advertises puppies available for sale.

    Bloodlines dominate the conversations on such forums. Several Web sites and periodicals dedicated to pit bulls also show fixations with bloodlines.

    The raid at Patrick*s property was part of a larger law enforcement action that included two separate breeding operations. Police arrested six people in all whom they believe to have connections with dog breeding and fighting.

    Juan and Zenaida Verdin, a married couple and $#@!ociates of Patrick, are suspected of running the fight-training portion of the enterprise, Parish said. The two were also released without bond.

    Also arrested were Robert C. Smith and Terry Williams. Police suspect the two of managing a similar fight-dog breeding trade — with a twist.

    The pair also runs a Web site called All American Dog Registry, a space dedicated to pit bulls. The site registers pit bulls and sanctions sporting events, such as weight pulls, for the breed. Critics of the site say it*s merely a networking place for the dog fighting subculture.

    “All American Dog Registry is a registry created by dog fighters for dog fighters,” Meyers said.

    Williams declined comment on his arrest when contacted last week by The Explorer, instead referring all questions to his lawyer, Roberta Jensen.

    “I*m outraged that the press has been crucifying these people,” Jensen said. “My clients are innocent until proven guilty.”

    The attorney also represents Robert Smith. Both men were released without bond.

    Jensen said Smith is a known throughout the world as a dog show judge and expert on American Staffordshire terriers.

    Jensen also expressed concerns about the Humane Society*s involvement with the investigation.

    “I*m concerned about who Mr. (John) Goodwin is,” Jensen said.

    Goodwin, an animal cruelty expert with the Humane Society, has been extensively quoted in relation to this and other suspected dog fighting cases. On many pit-bull centric Web sites and message boards, Goodwin is the focus of scorn. Postings on some sites accuse him of being an animal rights extremist.

    According to the Human Society*s Meyers, Pima County is home to some of the biggest players in the world of fighting dogs.

    “We do know that southern Arizona has been a hotbed of breeding,” Meyers said.

    In fact, according to local Humane Society spokeswoman Jenny Rose, authorities here considered Pima County the country*s No. 1 exporter of fighting dogs.

    Pit bull breeding can be a lucrative trade. Meyers estimates that Patrick and other breeders can sell fighting dogs for as much as $10,000 each.

    Authorities said Patrick has been in the breeding business since at least the late-1960s.

    Last week*s raids netted 150 dogs. Pima County Animal Care Center will house 56 of the dogs, the others will be held with co-operating outside agencies, said Vicki Duraine with Pima County Animal Care.

    At least 28 dogs were given over to the Humane Society, which will hold the animals pending the outcome of the investigation.

    The challenge facing Pima County Animal Care isn*t in keeping such a large number of dogs, but the fact that the animals will have to be held in segregation for extended periods.

    “Some of the dogs are completely isolated,” Duraine said.

    Because authorities believe the dogs have been bred and raised solely for fighting, kennels normally intended for multiple animals will hold just one dog, Duraine said.

    The dogs are currently considered evidence in a criminal prosecution, which means the county and other agencies will keep the animals until the case reaches final resolution.

    “That*s the sad nature of these kinds of crimes,” Eades said. “Normally, you can take the victims and lavish them with better treatment.”

    But the dogs will have access to medical care and facilities far more sanitary than the ones they were taken from, Eades said.

    The air around Patrick*s compound was heavy last week with the stench of animal waste. Investigators had to cover the ground between two rows of kennels with scrap metal and wood because a stream of raw sewage had filled the passageway.

    In addition to the dogs taken from Patrick*s property, Parish said steroids and a cache of weapons were found.

    Parish said the sheriff*s department suspects Patrick might have also been trading dogs for guns.

    “Often we see people involved in dog fighting rings are involved in other criminal activities,” Meyers said.

    With a bust as large as the one last week, however, authorities think the disruption will ripple through the dog-fighting arena.

    The case has also attracted the attention of law enforcement authorities from outside agencies, Parish said.

    The Pima County Sheriff*s Department has been in contact with U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI.

    “I don*t think we will end (dog fighting),” Meyers said, “but we put a big dent in it.”

    Ty Bowers contributed to this report.

    http://www.explorernews.com/article/show/21521


    In an effort to limit this thread to updated articles and press releases, we are asking that all discussions and comments be made in the 150 Suspected Fighting Dogs Seized thread.

  13. #13

    Donations To Pit Bulls Are Helping

    Posted: Feb 27, 2008 06:10 PM EST

    By Barbara Grijalva, KOLD News 13 Anchor

    Investigators raided four locations and seized a total 150 dogs. Authorities found twenty two pit bulls from one location, eighteen at another. Officials with Pima County Animal Care say the pit bulls are doing well.
    Police are investigating the local operation authorities say was breeding and training the pit bulls for fighting.
    Pima County Animal Care officials say community donations are helping.
    If you'd like to help, the shelter needs:
    • 4 and 8 quart galvanized metal bowls for food and water (the dogs chew them up).
    • The pit bulls also need unopened bags of dry dog food. The dogs with tooth problems need canned food.
    • Cash would help too.
    The shelter asks that you indicate on your check or money order made out to "Pima Animal Care" that the money is for the Pit Bull Fund.
    The shelter is located at 4000 North Silverbell Road.
    Hours are 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., though the shelter has the most staff on hand from 10:00 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp...6&nav=menu86_3


    In an effort to limit this thread to updated articles and press releases, we are asking that all discussions and comments be made in the 150 Suspected Fighting Dogs Seized thread.

  14. #14
    http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp...&nav=menu216_3

    Shelters overcrowded after break-up of suspected dog fighting ring

    Posted: March 3, 2008 06:12 PM CST
    Shelters overcrowded after break-up of suspected dog fighting ring



    Local shelters are up to their collars in canines, partly because of a recent raid that shut down an alleged dog fighting operation.
    Nearly 150 animals were suddenly homeless after the Pima County and Tucson Swat Teams hit four homes simultaneously last month.
    In the 1200 block of West Orange Grove Road alone, near Sandario Road, more than a hundred dogs were confiscated. Deputies also found a breeding kennel and dozens of guns.
    They say more dogs and money were found at two other homes. The animals are now filling our local shelters.
    Pima Animal Care and the Humane Society of Southern Arizona are both bursting at the seams, and they need your help.
    From a Springer Spaniel named McQueen, to a black Chow known as Teddy, almost thirty dogs moved from Pima Animal Care to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
    There just wasn't enough space to keep them after 147 dogs, mostly pit bulls from last month's bust, needed a home.
    "We had to take in a huge number of animals from Pima Animal Care's facility," said Humane Society spokesperson, Jenny Rose.
    The Humane Society has 29 stray dog kennels. Twenty-seven dogs came from Pima Animal Care, so space and finances really tightened up.
    "It's a huge number of dogs that we took in, as well as a huge number of dogs that they had to deal with," said Rose. "It was a big operation. We needed to help out any way we could, so we took the animals in here. But, of course that's putting a big strain on our operations."
    Meanwhile at Pima Animal Care, a litter of nine puppies is just one of three litters to come in after the dog fighting bust.
    "We're always full. But, we're a little extra full now," said Kim Janes, Manager of the Pima Animal Care Center.
    Janes says much of the outcome of the dogs from the raid depends on the courts.
    News 4 asked Janes if the dogs will ever be adoptable or if they will be euthanized.
    "They're just demonstrating [that] they're just too much of a risk to the community," he said.
    According to Janes, the owners can buy the dogs back after a heavy bond: between $12,000 and $62,000, depending on the owner.
    If not, the animals become Pima County's property.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notice this shelter is giving these folks the opption to buy thier dogs back. They have not been convicted. This search and siezure by the HSUS was based on allegations.



    In an effort to limit this thread to updated articles and press releases, we are asking that all discussions and comments be made in the 150 Suspected Fighting Dogs Seized thread.

  15. #15

    Parvovirus found in eight puppies at Pima Animal Care Center

    Highly contagious and potentially fatal parvovirus has been found in eight puppies at the Pima Animal Care Center, according to a PACC news release.

    PACC will test all dogs to be adopted before they are released to a new home, the release said.

    Six of the infected puppies were among the 150 dogs seized last month from a suspected breeder of fighting dogs. Signs of infection include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.

    Vaccination is the only way to prevent parvovirus. PACC urges all pet owners to get their pets vaccinated.

    http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/79021.php


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  16. Alleged blood sport breeders officially charged

    SWAT teams raided four homes late last month and arrested members of an allegedly powerful ring of breeders accused of raising pitt bulls for blood sport.

    Now, three weeks later, the alleged breeders have officially been charged.
    On Tuesday, February 19, officers raided one home in the city and three in the surrounding Pima County area. They found about 150 dogs - many baring the scars of dog fighting - more than 50 guns and thousands of dollars in cash.

    Officers made six arrests, including a man authorities say is one of the top three fight dog breeders in the nation: Mahlon Patrick. The six were released hours later with orders not to return to the raided properties.
    The prosecution has been building their case these past three weeks. And after an investigation that took nearly a year to lead to the arrests, the state has now offically indicted the suspects.

    Mahlon Patrick is charged with two counts of dogfighting and 21 counts of animal cruelty. John Goodwin, with the Humane Society of the United States, says Patrick has been in the dog fighting business since the 70s. "[He] was known worldwide for two blood lines he originated. Two blood lines of fighting dogs. They go under the names Tombstone and Bolio," Goodwin said.

    Goodwin adds, these dogs are highly sought after for their stamina and fighting skills, ranging in prices from the thousands to the tens of thousands of dollars.

    "This world of dog fighting that so few people know very much about at all is really organized crime," Goodwin said.

    Also charged is Terry "T.L." Williams. Goodwin says Williams ran the online registry for the operation. Now he's charged with one count of dogfighting and 24 counts of animal cruelty.

    "All American Dog Registry was pit bull only," Goodwin tells us. "It wasn't the normal pit bull owners that were using them. It was dog fighters." Goodwin says dog fight breeders use the site to get the registration papers to prove the dog's bloodline.

    There are four more players in this alleged ring. Robert Clayton Smith is charged with one count of dogfighting and 24 counts of animal cruelty.

    Emily Dennis is charged with two counts of dogfighting and 21 counts of animal cruelty.

    Juan Verdeen is charged with two counts of dogfighting, 11 counts of animal cruelty and 16 counts of failure to obtain licenses.

    Zenaida Verdeen is charged with two counts of dogfighting, 11 counts of animal cruelty and 16 counts of failure to obtain licenses.

    All told, that's 10 counts of dogfighting, 112 counts of animal cruelty and 32 licensing violations. The suspects are scheduled for arraignment on March 17.

    Goodwin estimates there are about 40,000 people in the U.S. mixed-up in the world of dog fighting. He says the Humane Society rewards up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved.

    http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp...9&nav=HMO6HMaY


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  17. #17

    Six indicted on charges of dog fighting

    Six indicted on charges of dog fighting



    By Kim Smith
    Arizona Daily Star
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.14.2008

    Six people arrested last month after a county-wide raid by the Pima County Sheriff's Department have been indicted on multiple charges pertaining to an alleged dog-fighting ring.

    A Pima County grand jury indicted the group on a total of 69 felony and misdemeanor counts alleging animal cruelty, dog fighting and failure to obtain licenses on Monday. The indictments were released late Thursday.
    The indictments allege the dog-fighting ring operated in Pima County between Jan. 1, 2000, and Feb. 19, 2008.

    Named in the indictment were: Mahlon Thatcher Patrick, 63, Emily Elizabeth Dennis, 63, Terry Williams, 52, Robert Clayton Smith, 55, Juan Rudolfo Verdin, 39, and Zenaida Yvonne Verdin, 35.

    Patrick, Dennis and Smith are accused of allowing the training to take place on their property.

    According to authorities, deputies began investigating a possible ring last March after they received tips from Chicago police and the Humane Society of the United States.

    Officers in Chicago stopped a van carrying several fighting dogs and they developed information that led them to Tucson.

    Pima County sheriff's deputies seized at least 150 dogs during raids on Feb. 19, along with $10,000 in cash and more than 60 firearms varying from revolvers to $#@!ault-type guns, officials said.

    Smith's attorney, Roberta Jensen, has said her client is innocent until proven guilty and yet the media are treating all of the defendants as though they are guilty.

    Patrick's attorney, Mark Resnick, said his client simply sells pit bull puppies because he loves the breed. In fact, Resnick says, buyers are required to sign a contract stating the dogs won't be used for fighting.

    The Pima County Attorney's Office requested bail of $500,000 for each of the six arrested. But City Magistrate Michael Lex released four on their own recognizance. Two others were released without having to post bail, but were placed under the supervision of Pretrial Services.

    All six defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in Pima County Superior Court on Monday.

    By the numbers
    • Mahlon Thatcher Patrick, two counts of dog fighting, 21 counts of animal cruelty
    • Emily Elizabeth Dennis, two counts of dog fighting, 21 counts of animal cruelty
    • Juan Rudolfo Verdin, two counts of dog fighting, 10 counts of animal cruelty, 16 counts of failure to obtain license
    • Zenaida Yvonne Verdin, two counts of dog fighting, 10 counts of animal cruelty, 16 counts of failure to obtain license
    • Robert Clayton Smith, two counts of dog fighting, 16 counts of animal cruelty
    •Terry Williams, one count of dog fighting





    http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/crime/229635


    In an effort to limit this thread to updated articles and press releases, we are asking that all discussions and comments be made in the 150 Suspected Fighting Dogs Seized thread.

  18. #18
    Ryn: Animal cruelty unleashed


    RYN GARGULINSKI

    Published: 05.30.2008

    Rumor always has it that one incorrigible kid in town buries cats up to their necks in the backyard, then gets out the lawnmower.
    We never knew if that rumor was true in my Michigan hometown, but the bad kid in question did eventually end up in jail for one thing or another.
    One southern Arizona guy ended up in jail, too, but for more than a rumor. And more than a dead cat.
    His Avra Valley backyard was filled with hundreds of dog parts. A puppy's pelvis. A fetid femur. Remnants of ribs.
    Suspected fighting-dog breeder kingpin Mahlon Patrick, 64, allegedly spent about four decades breeding dogs for the sole purpose of training them to rip other dogs' faces off.
    If the dogs didn't live up to fighting standards; were injured and thus useless; or had the sad luck of being born too weak or too small, they got slaughtered.
    Investigators found dog parts by simply walking the yard. Then they took a backhoe to a trench that had been filled in.
    Jagged jaws. Scattered skulls. A handful of teeth.
    Detectives stopped digging even with two more trenches evident. They knew what they'd find.
    A multiagency raid in February was able to "save" about 110 live dogs - as well as some goats, fowl and fish - from Patrick's property, said Marsh Myers, officer of the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona and spokesman for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.
    But many of the saved dogs later were euthanized because only a few folks stepped up to adopt them.
    No one's a winner in dogfighting, Myers said.
    The remains of one 2-year-old dog revealed a massive jaw injury. Myers said the dog likely was hurt in a fight, then killed because he was no longer able to rumble.
    Animal cruelty, in the form of dogfighting or otherwise, has to be one of the more disgusting crimes.
    Those who engage in it are not only repulsive, but also downright dangerous. It's a sick person who gets his kicks from abusing small, defenseless things.
    Animal cruelty is even listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the psychiatrist's bible.
    While it may seem that someone like Patrick is already at the height of cruelty, there is always the next level.
    Convicted serial killer Ted Bundy didn't wake up one day and decide to murder women.
    He practiced first by abusing animals. So did Jeffrey Dahmer, David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz and Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to being the Boston Strangler.
    Animal abusers come in all ages and genders, as evidenced by those who are court-ordered to attend the Humane Society's anti-cruelty cl$#@!, Myers said.
    Women usually are referred for neglect issues, while men are more likely to be physically violent with critters, he said.
    Juvenile animal cruelty has ranged from stealing a neighbor's pet, shooting animals with pellet guns or, in the case of one group of kids, throwing a dead cat out a car window at bystanders.
    Pima Animal Care Center has been summoned to an average of eight animal welfare calls every day for the past five years.
    Most, nowhere near as serious as the fighting-dog graveyard, can be dealt with by issuing a citation or sending the offender to the anti-cruelty cl$#@!.
    "I never attribute to malice what can be attributed to ignorance," said Weaver Barkman, a private investigator who spent 25 years in law enforcement. "But there's a lot of ignorance to go around."
    He said animal-abusing kids should be watched, especially if they show no remorse, their behavior escalates in violence and they like to light fires and are bed-wetters.
    Unfortunately, that's not just a rumor.

    http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/opinion/86729.php

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