7 arrested in Maywood dogfight

January 3, 2011 8:49:57 PM PST
Seven people have been arrested in connection with an alleged dogfighting ring in west suburban Maywood.

The Cook County sheriff's department says two pit bulls were found fighting in the basement of a home.

A tip led officers to the Maywood home last week. When they arrived, they found a dogfight in progress.

"The 65-pound dog had the 11-month-old in his teeth and was tearing it apart with its teeth when we got in there. There was blood everywhere and we were able to get in and get the dogs separated,' said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

The suspects were charged with felones: dogfighting and attending a dogfight.

"This wasn't a gang leader. This wasn't people bringing folks together for betting. This was purely a case of two people wanting to see if their dog could kill another dog, and folks coming to watch a dog get killed," Dart said.

The dogs were taken to the Animal Welfare League of Chicago Ridge. The 11-month-old dog is stabilized, and is expected to survive. He may even be suitable for adoption.

The bigger dog didn't have as severe injuries, but his disposition may not make him suitable as a pet.

"They're beat, they're jabbed, they're shocked, they're filled with amphetamines -- is it any wonder why they act like that? No, they have huge chains put around their necks, just horrific things are done to 'em," Dart said.

The Animal Welfare League receives several dogs injured by fighting each week. In the summer time they may see dozens a week. On the same day the two dogs from the alleged Maywood ring arrived, a 5-month-old was brought to the shelter. Linda Estrada of the Animal Welfare League says it was likely used a bait for a fight. It was left in an alley in the snow.

"The more people who say that say this is unacceptable we are not going to tolerate this, the community, society is the only one who can stop this," Estrada said.

Sheriff Dart urges anyone with information about dogfighting in Cook County to call the sheriff's department.