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NJ: Pit bulls rescued from fighting ring were stolen from Paterson animal shelter


PATERSON — Two pit bulls rescued from a brutal dogfighting ring were stolen out of the city's animal shelter either Monday night or Tuesday morning, according to authorities.

Paterson Animal Control Officer John DeCando said that two of the three dogs seized in a dog fighting ring on Friday, May 1 were taken from the city animal shelter at 44 Rye Road.

The third dog is recovering from serious injuries sustained in a dog fight. Frannie Laurita, a volunteer with A Pathway to Hope, said the dog, named Jude, could be released from Animal Emergency Referral Associates in Fairfield as soon as Wednesday.

Jude has "a considerable" number of bite marks, Laurita said, and suffered a variety of ailments from fighting, including a heart murmur and early kidney failure. A foster family has agreed to take him in when he's released from the hospital.

Two large holes were cut into the shelter's fence and the cages, DeCando said. No other animals were taken.

DeCando found the holes Tueday morning while feeding the animals. The two pit bulls are about a year old. DeCando can tell them apart by their scars.

"It was targeted," said an angry DeCando. "I was working with Second Chance Pet Adoption to get them homes."

The dogs, both male pit bulls between 45 and 50 pounds, were stolen sometime between 8 p.m. Monday and 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, DeCando said.

The alleged ringleader of the ring, 34-year-old Michael Coleman, was charged with animal cruelty, animal fighting and maintaining a premise for unlawful conduct. Two other men were charged with dog fighting at the rented car wash at 198 N. 16th Street, according to police.

DeCando said the dogs are friendly toward people but will attempt to kill any animal it comes into contact with. The dogs cannot be together, he said.

Because the theft of the dogs represents tampering with evidence, detectives have taken over the case, the animal control officer said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the city's shelter at 973-881-3640.


A pit bull stolen from Paterson Animal Control. (Courtesy of Paterson Animal Control)

Pit bulls rescued from fighting ring were stolen from Paterson animal shelter | NJ.com


Premium Member
Those scars look really old and healed over... they are trying to say that crap is from yesterday???

I have waaaaay more questions about this than were answered in the article.


Good Dog
That dog in the picture looks old, not one year old as claimed? Sorry random thought lol. Im tired.