LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police have uncovered an extensive dog-fighting ring they say operated around the Southland and into Mexico.

KCAL9’s Jennifer Kastner spoke to Robin Russell, a pit-bull rescuer from Studio City, about the ring on Wednesday evening.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It makes me want to cry because it happens all over, more than we ever know about.”

She’s worked extensively with pit bulls, just like the nine saved from a San Diego home that was raided Wednesday.

Investigators said they first started probing the ring six months ago out of the Antelope Valley. That group led investigators to South Gate and ultimately San Diego.

The purebreds were being taken into Mexico to fight. Experts say owners of a dog that wins a fight can make up to $80,000.

During the raid Wednesday, officials confiscated treadmills for training, trophies, heavy chains and weapons.

Arrests in the ring are pending, and neighbors said they suspected nothing illegal was going on.

“I’d walk past here and they’re be a dog on the front lawn and the dude would just be fixing up his car,” says Paul Williams.

The nine dogs rescued Wednesday will be taken to Lancaster for evaluation.

Russell says the rescued dogs often have deep physical and emotional scars.

“They start them as babies putting chains, putting weights on them, putting them through vigorous, vigorous workouts in the heat,” Russell says.

Despite these conditions, she believes it is possible for these dogs to be rehabilitated.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department says it plans to serve more search warrants in Los Angeles connected to this ring in the near future.

Comments (3)
  1. Harve Morgan says:

    Dog fighting has been on the rise since Vick. And these rescuers only are adding to the misery of the breed. They want to save them all when many should not be saved. They do lousy adoptions, just to get them out the door. These poor pits end up in horrible conditions but the No Kill rescuers don’t care, outta sight, outta mind. I see shelter deemed aggressive pits pulled daily by people who claim to be rescuers, when in reality they have never worked with dogs except for the pets their parents had. Rescue needs to be regulated, they are the enemies of the breed. The breed needs to be regulated heavily, averaging killing a person every 10 days now. Maulings and loss of limbs are daily. Yet these wannabe rescuers will pull those aggressive pits from the shelters, drug them, put them on transports to heaven knows where. Yes, they are ending up in fighting rings. But No Kill doesn’t care, it’s a ‘home’, No Kill doesn’t care what kind of home. These rescuers and No Kill are the ones causing the increase in dog fighting, they are so ignorant of their roles in it all.

  2. Norma Ray says:

    The Blonde Dog in the Officers arms is finally able to smile. That is so beautiful. But
    Harve Morgan is right. Where will that beautiful smile end up next? I do relate to what you are saying. There needs to be better follow up on the Animals because they go from one bad situation to another. I don’t believe that rescuers are to blame although they should try to put their personal feelings aside and make logical decisions it should actually not be their decision. It should be the decision of the medical profession. Its a tuff one. I mean we don’t put grandma to sleep just because she is sick Senile and a burden to the family. We go on paying those high medical bills to keep her alive when at times it seems to be inhumane. I also don’t believe in ignoring a problem like Dog fighting simply because the Shelter is full to the max either . That is allowing Soulless criminals with killing mindsets to continue polluting our neighborhoods. . They are a danger to society as well as the Animal kingdom. It is quite evident that the current manor of handling this out of control situation is simply not working. We can’t continue doing the same thing over and over the same way. We will just keep getting to same results.If the process was done correctly I honestly believe more people would get involved and give support.. We need stiffer laws to get to the root of the problem., and we need those laws enforced.

  3. Norma Ray says:

    So these criminals have now been through the justice system , got their slap on the wrist and now they have migrated further North to Monterey County. Salinas! The is the new hub.. Dog issues are not a priory with PD here.. And as the Story says, it just goes on an on and on. Our authorities need to take this more seriously. Dog fighting is linked to so many other crimes. and we are experiencing a crime epidemic here. I know we have the technology to end this so why is it still going on? The mention of Dog fighting infuriates those that care about Animals and what causes rescuers to act without though. I mean, what would you do if you knew this was going on in your own neighborhood and you could actually hear it .. everyday after day after day? What would happen to an average citizen that stumbled upon something like this by accident? I did not know what I was hearing. I had no idea. I could hear animals in distress and my first thought was that I needed to find where they were and get help for them. It lead me to discover something I was not supposed to know about. By the time i knew what was really taking place, It was too late to back away. Like a chance encounter with a skunk. You just want to slowly back away and hope you can. What made it even worse was the reaction I got from our authorities. . I had thought that I just needed to inform them of what was going on and they would take care of it. But that didn’t happen.Instead they ask me if I was under any stress, or taking medications, was I eating well , getting enough sleep? It was easy to see where this was going., completely in reverse. I was no longer the concerned citizen offering assistance. I was now just a crazy old lady that hears strange noises in the night.
    Authorities try to keep this type of activity under wraps because they know if the public was aware of how bad it really is, they would be outraged and demand action be taken.
    I have been on the quiet side for the last 3 years. Just watching and taking notes. It’s hard to do and I’m tired of it. With this new COVID-19 outbreak I thought maybe it would slow down , but it hasn’t These people are non compliant to the Under shelter order and their show must go on. No matter who I have contacted on the outside, it is referred right back to the authorities here and swept under the carpet. But the time will come when just the right person will take notice and know how to take action here. A few animals will be finally save, a few criminals brought to justice and the rest move on and start over somewhere else..

Leave a Reply