An official with Oakland Animal Services say the dog fighting operation uncovered Thursday was one of the largest he’s ever seen.
Eleven dogs were discovered at a home in East Oakland after officer responded to the home regarding an unrelated investigation.
Dave Cronin with Oakland Animal Services says the dogs had visible dog-fighting related wounds including chewed up ears and scars on their faces.
Investigators found evidence of a dog-fighting training venue at the home on 98 Eldridge Ave including treadmills that were modified for dogs, weighted vests to build dog’s strength and endurance and medical supplies used to treat wounds from dog-fighting.
Cronin tells KTVU that he’s been in contact with the home’s owner by phone and is trying to interview him in person.
Police tell KTVU that a family with children lives at the home, but no one was home during the raid Thursday.
Some of the dog’s found were aggressive, one even bit Cronin and another officer, but luckily their wounds were minor. Other dogs, including a puppy found, were friendly.
Cronin says investigators are now connecting the dots to other incidents in the area.
“We’ve had a fair number, maybe a dozen or so dead pit-bulls in this neighborhood recovered just in the last couple of months,” Cronin said.
The dogs are now at Oakland Animal Services where they are awaiting evaluation and treatment.
Cronin tells KTVU dog fighting is a lucrative business that takes place in many cities, often in backyards and warehouses.
“Dog fighting is organized crime, it’s a million dollar operation. Multi-million dollar operation,” Cronin says.
Cronin says stronger laws are needed in California to punish those who operate dog fighting rings but adds that many neighbors don’t often report these operations.
Investigators with Animal Control will be working closely with the DA’s office to prosecute this case.