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Dozens face charges in alleged dog fighting ring in Maryland

Dogs, as saying goes, are a man's best friend. However, some people raise dogs not for companionship, but for sport. Dog fighting is prohibited in most states, including Maryland, and anyone caught or suspected of taking part in such an activity is sure to face serious penalties.

In Baltimore, 22 members of an alleged dog fighting ring were charged by the state attorney's office and the special unit of the city's police department. The suspects are being held for conspiracy, cruelty and abuse of animals, among other charges. The arrests came after a year-long investigation which, according to officials, had criminal activity going beyond Maryland's borders. More than 130 adult dogs, mostly pit bulls, were taken into custody after the arrests of the suspects. 30 puppies were also recovered. Besides the animals, investigators also confiscated firearms, chains, steroids, treadmills and other equipment and medications allegedly used to breed and train fighting dogs.

A dog fight consists of dogs brutally fighting each other for entertainment, but generally for financial gain. Spectators place wagers on the outcome of a fight, with winnings sometimes as much $100,000, or even higher, depending on a specific fight's purse. To increase aggressive behavior, dogs are forced to undergo extensive training and conditioning regiments and are at times pumped up with drugs. Dogs who win in the fight are usually spared but eventually succumb to injuries and other complications, like infections. Dog that lose are executed in inhumane ways.

In criminal conspiracies such as dog fighting, Maryland residents can unsuspectingly be swept along in group arrests. To assert their innocence, Maryland residents will need an aggressive criminal defense. Allegations can severely affect the reputation, employment and personal relationships of people accused of such crimes, so it is best to address the accusations immediately to prevent further legal complications.

Source: WBALTV.com, "Baltimore-based dog fighting ring busted," Saliqa Khan, Dec. 23, 2014

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013