Society

NJ Dog Fighting Ring: Caurie Swinger Charged with 84 Counts of Animal Cruelty, Dog Fighting and Killing Animals

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Caurie Swinger, 21, a Paterson, New Jersey, resident was charged Thursday with 84 counts of animal cruelty related to an alleged dog fighting ring that was discovered during a drug raid last week, North Jersey News reports.

Police found 18 live Pit Bulls, most crammed into crates in the basement, and four dead dogs stuffed into garbage bags. Three of the live Pit Bulls were chained outside and living in overturned trash barrels. One was in a first-floor bedroom of the home at 226 Van Blarcom St., believed to be owned by Swinger's mother.

All the dogs were dehydrated and starving. Most were puppies, under one year of age, but the adult dogs were injured and scarred in a manner that indicated they had been used in fighting.

An upstairs room had bloodstained walls.

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Police originally went to the location to investigate an alleged narcotics operation, when they discovered one of the largest dog fighting operations ever found in the area, according to John DeCando, Paterson Animal Control Officer.

Swinger was charged earlier this week with intending to sell crack, cocaine and marijuana, and possession of an illegal handgun. He and Ashley Bryant, 32, were arrested last Friday.

DeCando, signed complaints related to dog fighting on Thursday, April 25. Swinger, who appeared in Paterson municipal court last Monday on the drug charges and weapons charges, is expected to have another hearing on the new charges sometime next week.

Charges added by the judge on Thursday include: Eight counts of third-degree crimes; two counts each of running a dog-fighting establishment and of permitting animals to fight; and four counts of knowingly killing animals.

Swinger also was charged with 18 counts of torturing and mutilating animals and four counts of causing another person to kill an animal, which are fourth-degree crimes.

He faces an additional 36 disorderly persons charges: 18 counts each of failure to provide food and water to animals, mistreating animals, and abusing animals.

Bryant, who faces only the drug charges, also appeared at Monday’s municipal court hearing.

Both defendants were released after posting $50,000 bail each.

Robert Boyle, law enforcement chief of the Passaic County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said he has “no information that this was connected with anything else,” like a larger dog-fighting ring.

However, all dog-fighting is done in networking with others owning dogs they want to fight and spectators who attend to place bets and watch the bloody match. as the dogs fight for their lives. It is likely this operation is merely the tip of an ugly iceberg in and around Paterson.

Neighbors on Van Blarcom Street said they saw only a few dogs at Swinger’s home, and they appeared to be malnourished and sometimes cried at night, according to North Jersey News.

DeCando said “people are afraid to call” to report animal abuse but added that they would not be identified. The dogs have all been placed in foster homes, Decando said, and are expected to be adopted.

All of the charges, including the alleged drug offenses, are scheduled to be heard in Superior Court.

Read also: Dog Fighting: NJ Police Bust Major Ring, Rescue 21 Pit Bulls; 4 Dead Dogs Found in Garbage Bags

Source: North Jersey