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Officers seize four dogs in year-long DC dog fighting investigation

The Humane Rescue Alliance says two men are facing felony animal fighting charges.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — A year-long dog fighting investigation out of Washington, D.C. has two men facing charges, according to the Humane Rescue Alliance.  

Animal law enforcement officers said Friday that Tavone Brown of Washington, D.C. is under arrest and facing a felony animal fighting charge.

Officers also have an arrest warrant for Terence Dorsey of District Heights, Md., but he has not yet been located. Dorsey also faces the same charge as Brown.

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“Dogfighting is one of the most brutal and horrific crimes that an individual can engage in,” said Chris Schindler, the Vice President of Field Services for the Humane Rescue Alliance.

Schindler explained to WUSA9 the Humane Rescue Alliance, in collaboration with DC Police and Prince George’s County Police, searched both Brown and Dorsey’s homes. 

HRA obtained a search warrant for Brown’s home and it was searched on January 11. Dorsey’s home was searched on January 30.

“We uncovered a significant amount of evidence associated with organized dog fighting,” said Schindler about the search of Brown’s house.

Schindler said investigators recovered medical supplies for animals, such as suture and staple kits and IV fluid sets. He pointed out people who are fighting dogs are not likely to take their animal to the vet for any wounds.

“We found all the different types of tools you would need to perform very crude medical operations and procedures on animals,” said Schindler.

HRA said a total of four American Pitbull Terriers were seized from Brown and Dorsey’s home. According to Schindler and HRA spokeswoman Dani Rizzo, two of the dogs had wounds and scarring that appeared to be related to fighting.

“These two dogs had an extreme amount of wounds and injuries, both old and new, some infected that I think really demonstrates how much these dogs had suffered,” said Schindler.

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Schindler said the fourth dog was located during Brown’s arrest and was severely emaciated. The dog was not present when the initial search warrant of Brown’s home was executed.

HRA launched the dog fighting investigation after receiving several tips from people in the community.  

“If it wasn’t for the members of the public who called us and noticed something wasn’t right, these dogs may have never been rescued,” said Schindler.

He said witnesses saw what looked like suspicious dog training happening at a park at the intersection of 1st Street and N Street Northwest, just north of New York Avenue.

Schindler said residents noticed the dogs had significant scarring. They also saw people training the dogs with spring poles, flirt poles and weights.

“People had also seen them, what appeared, facing the dogs off,” said Schindler. “Not letting them dogs engage each other, but letting them get close enough to each other.”

HRA encourages everyone to report suspicious activity that’s related to animals. Schindler said if you notice dogs with scarring, particularly pitbulls, consider calling HRA. He also said you should look out for dogs coming and going from homes and conditioning dogs.

“It doesn’t hurt to call,” said Schindler. “If we investigate it and it’s unfounded, then we’ve made sure those dogs are fine. But, if we investigate it and there’s a crime being committed, you’ve just helped rescue those dogs.”

HRA and police are still searching for Dorsey. He is in his late twenties. If you know his whereabouts, call 202-723-5730 option 1.

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