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Forced To Battle: Major Dog Fighting Ring Busted In West Baltimore

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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)— A drug bust leads to a gruesome discovery of dead dogs and others being used in a dog fighting ring. The ring was found in a home in West Baltimore.

Rochelle Ritchie has more.

BARCS officials say the dogs appear to be healthy overall. The alleged organizer of the ring was arrested but not formally charged.

Sixteen pit bulls were rescued from inside a home in West Baltimore where police say blood was found on the walls and carpet.

“There was an actual dog fighting ring down there in the basement,” said Lt. Dan Lioi, Baltimore City Police.

All of the dogs were taken to BARCS, where they continue to undergo treatment.

“Some of them are very thin. Many of them have scarring; some have old scars, some are fresh and they are consistent with dog fighting,” said Jen Brause, BARCS.

“There is dog fighting that goes on every single night and day of the week in Baltimore,” said Erick Vocke.

Vocke owns Peyton, a pit bull terrier whose fighting days are over after he was rescued three years ago, a mile away from Tuesday’s bust.

“He was 28 pounds. He was emaciated; he had scarring from his tail to his nose,” Vocke said.

Peyton still has signs on his face from injuries sustained in a dog fighting ring. A piece of his ear was bitten off and the speckles on his face were not from his fur but from being bitten by other dogs.

The name of the man who may be responsible for running the ring has not been released by police, but BARCS officials say he is no stranger to animal cruelty.

“I did hear he had been in trouble before for animal cruelty and it just goes to show there needs to be more punishment,” said Brause.

Police say they aggressively investigate all cases of animal cruelty.

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