A raid on a dog-fighting ring late Saturday night resulted in the arrest of ten people, with an estimated 35 to 40 fleeing into the heavily wooded area on Hicks Drive, north of Many on Highway 175, said Sabine Parish Sheriff Ronny Richardson. (Sabine is a Parish in western Louisiana which borders Texas.)
Ten adults were arrested, and deputies seized two pit bulls which were fighting in the pit at that time, five vehicles and the dog-fighting pen, Sheriff Ronny Richardson told the Shreveport Times. Also present were two juveniles. Another arrest is anticipated today in connection with their attendance at the fight, Richardson said.
Deputies “grabbed all they could,” Richardson said of the fleeing spectators. Many others escaped, as did a number of dogs that also were released by their owners. More arrests are anticipated.
The dogs were taken to the Sabine Animal Shelter. Their condition as well as the condition of other animals on the property is unknown at this time.
Sheriff’s deputies returned to the area on Sunday in the daylight to search for more evidence which can help identify spectators and participants. A flashlight and pistol were quickly recovered.
Arrested on one count each of dog fighting and aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of juveniles are:
Bobby R. Champion Jr., 44, of Gibsland
Brian O. Isreal, 40, of Taylor
Loleta S. Neal, 33, of Natchitoches
Kerry T. Kahey, 36, of Natchitoches
Carl J. Henry, 27, of Natchitoches
Christopher D. Malmay, 21, of Zwolle
Kenneth K. Maxie, 25, of Pleasant Hill
Quannell T. Newton, 29, of Many
Ronald C. Payne Jr., 42, of Natchitoches
Okimo R. Sims, 30, of Shreveport
“MULTITUDES OF DEAD DOGS WERE STREWN IN THE WOOD”
The remains of a multitude of dead dogs were strewn in the woods, indicating the dog fights had been ongoing there for a long time, Richardson said.
“We had heard about it and were finally able to develop some intel,” Richardson said.
The penalty for dog fighting in Louisiana is a fine of $1,000 to $25,000 or imprisonment with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or both.
Aggravated cruelty to animals is punishable by a fine of $5,000 to $25,000 or imprisonment with or without hard labor not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or both.
A conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile carries a fine of up to $1,000 and prison sentence of no more than two years
Additionally, the law allows a judge to order an offender to undergo a psychological evaluation and subsequently recommended psychological treatment and be banned from owning or keeping animals for a period of time deemed appropriate by the court. Any costs associated with evaluation or treatment is the responsibility of the defendant.
REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO ARREST AND CONVICTION
Up to a $5,000 reward is offered by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. Call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Callers’ identities are protected.