Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is calling for the state to take custody of eight pit bulls seized in a raid at a property in Meriden that authorities say is tied to an investigation into a multistate illegal dogfighting ring.
Connecticut State Police raided the property at 109 Britannia St. in Meriden on July 31 and seized the eight dogs, which were found in cages in the backyard. According to Tong's office, investigators found what they described as a large makeshift dogfighting ring and turf square stained with suspected animal blood.
A state animal control officer noted that two of the dogs were too aggressive to be safely removed from their cages and examined. The dogs are physically healthy and two of them had scars considered consistent with dogfighting, authorities said. Police found dog licenses for seven dogs on the property, court documents said.
Police also seized items including leashes, hanging ropes they said are designed to strengthen dogs' jaws and neck muscles, dog treadmills, a bicycle with an attached harness, "break stick" knives that can force a dog's jaw open after bites, a whip, animal scales, electric collars and weighted vests.
Photos: Eight Pit Bulls Seized in Multistate Dogfighting Investigation
Court documents also noted that police found veterinary supplies, including materials that are restricted and only meant to be used by or by order of a licensed veterinarian.
“Dog fighting is cruel and illegal. These pit bulls were viciously abused and conditioned to be aggressive and violent fighters. A multistate police investigation is ongoing and those responsible for these heinous crimes will be held to justice. We are moving today for permanent state custody to ensure the safe care of the abused dogs,” said Attorney General Tong in a statement.
The dogs are currently in State Police custody and Tong is asking that they be placed under permanent custody of the state Department of Agriculture.
The investigation is ongoing and involves members of Connecticut and New York law enforcement.