The Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park was part of a joint investigation by the FBI’s Newark Division, the NJ State Police, the Union County Prosecutors Office Task Force in the investigation of a dogfighting ring in Elizabeth.
The Society supplied 6 Animal Control Officers with vans, transport cages, equipment and supplies. Seventeen pit bull type dogs were at the residence, many of which had injuries that were obviously sustained while being forced to fight. Dog fighting paraphernalia was also discovered and included treadmills, chains, heavy collars and harnesses, and a dog fighting ring stained with blood. The dogs were being kept in various locations throughout the residence in dirty, small, steel and plastic cages.
Our officers, along with officers from other animal welfare agencies, removed all of the dogs. Five were given to the AHS/Popcorn Park and the remainder were brought to the safety of other animal care facilities. Two of the dogs had injuries that were so severe that they needed urgent care at a specialty hospital.
Nine of the people involved in the dogfight ring are Elizabeth residents and one man is from Irvington. One person attempted to escape with several dogs and was stopped by Police and an AHS Animal Control Officer arrived at the scene to rescue those in the van with the dogs that had been stopped.
Ten arrests were made in this case, and we are very hopeful that the individuals that are responsible for the pain and misery that these dogs endured are brought to justice. The N J State Statute criminalizing dog fighting was amended in 2013 in order to make involvement in this activity a third degree criminal offense punishable by 3-5 years in state prison.
The dogs at AHS are truly remarkable, in that once they overcame some of their fears, they realized quickly that they are in good hands and will never be harmed again. Their ages and personalities vary, but we have been giving these dogs lots of extra care and attention, and we can tell you that one thing stands true for all of them- they are some of the nicest dogs you will ever meet. They absolutely love getting attention and they make friends easily. Presently, this incident is considered an open investigation and we are waiting approval for adoption of these dogs.
All of the pit bulls at AHS/Popcorn Park are incredibly sweet and very clingy. Pickles, Dandy, Mazie, Bowie and Freeda are given daily walks and lots of socialization. Your donation will help us in the never-ending fight to help as many animals as we can.
For more information on these dogs who deserve a better life than the one they had, call 609-693-1900 or e-mail us. Please consider making a donation to our Res-Q Fund, which is the fund that we rely on in times like these, when we take in animals that desperately need our help.