Society

Dog Fighting: Larae Bryant Arrested for Animal Cruelty, Raising Pit Bulls for Fighting

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

A Pinellas County man suspected of raising pit bulls for fighting was arrested Wednesday.

Larae Bryant, 25, was arrested on Nov. 7 and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with raising pit bulls for fighting, according to the Tribune. Bail was set at $25,000.

In March, two of Bryant’s seven pit bulls were seized from his home at 1990 66th Ave. S. by Pinellas County Animal Services. The animals were in poor physical condition, court records state.

The Tribune reports that a Pinellas animal control officer went to the address on March 6, 2013, to check on the medical condition of any dogs on the premises. Authorities believed all canines at the home were part of a dog-fighting ring operating in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties.

The Pinellas County animal control officer found indications that two pit bulls on the premises were being used for fighting, Larae Bryant, 25, wasn’t at home at the time, according to the report.

There were seven dogs in all at the house, all but one of them in crates. The seventh was chained to a heavy car part. None of them had food or water, though there was a large bag of dog food in the backyard, the police report states.

Five of the seven had scarring that appeared to result from dog fighting. Of those, one had suffered a severe injury on his snout, another one on its neck.

According to the Tribune, Bryant was cited for abandonment of the animals.

Bryant and Bryant’s father, Larry, who lives at the house, were both suspects in the dog-fighting enterprise, as were Bryant’s roommate and four other people. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s department was also involved in the investigation.

Bryant told police that some of the dogs belong to him, others to friends.

Oreo and Tupoc, a female and male, were in bad condition, according to the civil petition the county filed March 15 for the County to gain ownership of the dogs.

Oreo had a puncture wound on the left side of her face that was draining pus. Her face, neck and forelimbs were covered with dog-fighting scars, and she was covered in fleas, according to the petition to allow seizure of the animals. Tupoc had a swollen nose draining pus, a fever and scars on his head, neck, ears, eyelids, forelimbs and hind limbs.

Both animals eventually were humanely euthanized, the Tribune reports.

Sources: TBO, (2)