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Old 07-09-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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Default Dog fighting ring busted, 350 dogs seized


Missouri, Illinois men, arrested in St. Louis on interstate dog-fighting ring charges

By Robert Patrick

UPDATED 3:55 P.M. with charges against Illinois men

ST. LOUIS -- Five Missouri men and five Illinois men are among 26 arrested today and accused of involvement in a multi-state dog fighting ring called the largest in the country, prosecutors said.

In all, 350 dogs were seized and men from Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma were arrested.

The indictments say that the defendants and un-namned “co-conspirators” operated kennels and training facilities used to breed and condition the dogs and ran the dog fights.

Prosecutors in western Missouri, where seven men were indicted, said that the men shot injured dogs in the head and either threw them in the river or burned their bodies in a barrel.

The dogs seized in Missouri and Illinois will be treated and evaluated for their suitability for rescue or adoption by the Humane Society of Missouri at a temporary facility.

The case was investigated by the Humane Society U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, undercover Missouri Highway Patrol investigators, the FBI and other agencies.

Indicted in Missouri were Michael "Missouri Mike" Morgan, 38, of Hannibal; Robert Hackman, 55, of Foley; Teddy "Teddy Bogart" Kiriakidis, 50, of Leasburg; Ronald Creach, 34, of Leslie; and Jack Ruppel, 35 of Eldon.

Each was indicted on at least one felony county of conspiracy to commit federal offenses. Morgan, Hackman and Ruppel also face at least one animal fighting charge.

Prosecutors say Hackman ran the "Shake Rattle and Roll Kennel," Ruppel ran "Ozark Hillbillys Kennel," Morgan ran "Cannibal Kennel," and Creach ran "Hard Goodbye Kennel."

Five Illinois men were charged with conspiracy to commit unlawful activities of dog fighting:

William Berry, 34, of Lebanon; Derrick Courtland, 42, of Cahokia; and John Bacon, 36, Julius Jackson, 40, and Joseph Addison, 40, all of East St. Louis.

Addison and Jackson co-own Back Street Truez kennel, the complaint says.

Berry arranged for a Nov. 15, 2008, dog fight behind his house in the 2200 block of North 50th Street in Washington Park that was attended by about 40 people, the complaint says. Berry charged $20 a head. Addison refereed and Bacon attended, the complaint says.

On April 18, 2009, Bacon, Addison, Jackson and Courtland fought their dogs at a series of fights on Lakewood Place in East St. Louis watched by spectators from Missouri and Illinois, the complaint says.

The Humane Society had a quick reaction to the arrests.

"The Humane Society of Missouri is vehemently opposed to this heinous blood sport," reads a statement released by Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. "The way animals used in dog fighting are abused, at the hands of people for profit, is absolutely abhorrent."

The Humane Society of the U.S., which offers a $5,000 reward for dog fighting information, says that dog fights can last two hours and average one hour in length. They end one of the dogs won't or can't continue, and often result in the death of one or both of the dogs within hours. They are also sometimes killed by their owners.
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dog fighting ring busted, 350 dogs seized

Wow, I think that's the most I've ever heard of being seized from a dog fighting ring. It must of taken months of investigative work to correlate that raid. I hope the dogs can be saved, although sadly I know many can't be due to their training.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dog fighting ring busted, 350 dogs seized

that they can't be saved due to "training" is just a line the H$U$ and PETA are feeding you. and clearly they don't even believe it, because the H$U$ lobbied (and won) for tiny baby puppies who had been born in foster care after having been seized from wildside kennels to be killed. even though they'd never lived in a dog-fighter's yard. even though they'd never known any kind of cruelty. but they were the spawn of monsters and had to be killed.

while some of the dogs seized likely shouldn't be saved due to being straight-up unsound, whether or not they've been fought really shouldn't have that much to do with it. look how many vick dogs are living successfully in homes now, even dogs who came with slews of scars. several have passed their CGC tests and at least one is a registered and working therapy dog.

i hope and pray that these dogs will get a fair shake, that they will get fair evaluations by knowledgeable people, and that enough rescues will step up to take these dogs in and place them responsibly into homes equipped to teach them how to live in the real world.

i've really been hit by the parallels between fight dog seizures and puppy mill seizures lately. and the differences in our responses to these dogs.
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