Two dozen dogs are being examined by vets at an Oakland animal shelter after they were rescued Tuesday night from an Oakland home, where they might have been kept as part of a dog-fighting ring.
Police seized 23 pit bulls from the home in East OaklandTuesday night, where they were living in squalor. A crew from the Oakland Fire Department discovered the dogs when they went to the house on a tip that there was fire hazard at the home. The house is familiar to police. They have seized dogs from the place several times in the past.
Animal control officers say the 19 adult pit bulls and four puppies, were living in horrible conditions and that almost all need medical care. They found the dogs either chained up or stacked on top of each other in small kennels. They were covered in feces and urine and the yard was muddy and littered with trash.
"Fifteen of the dogs had no water they could get to." An Oakland animal control services worker told us. "The other dogs were urine stained or urine burned. They had fecal matter on their fur and feet, some had hair loss, for a variety of different reasons. Some were scarred."
They will be examined by veterinarians to see if they have injuries consistent with dogfights. There is some speculation that they were being kept for breeding purposes and might have been used to create a new pedigree.
"I'm inclined to say that they were not being trained to fight." David Cronin, with Oakland Animal Services said. "He has a history of being ionvolved in dg fighting but this case, he's breeding them and then sell them and then what that person does with the dogs who knows."
The decision on whether to file charges depends on the vet exam. Depending on the outcome of the dogs' medical exams, the owner could be facing a host of charges, including several felonies. The examination will also determine if the animals can be adopted out. Police say its too early to tell if any of them will have to be euthanized.