By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore County man is sentenced to prison time for his role in a dogfighting operation. The animals found in his care were dirty, malnourished and mutilated. Amazingly, some of them survived.

Mike Schuh has the conclusion to this disturbing case.

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What was done to the dogs is horrible, but there is reason to be hopeful for their future.

Authorities say lovable animals Michelle, Bridgette and Shelly were used for sport and endured horrendous abuse at the hands of a dog fighter.

“They’re put into a machine to keep them steady while they are raped by the male dogs. It’s horrifying,” said Baltimore Humane Society Executive Director Jen Swanson.

Larry Alston, a 37-year-old Woodlawn man, was sentenced to three years in prison Monday by a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge. Police say when they arrested Alston in 2009, he had numerous dogs inside his home that were malnourished and scarred, living inside feces-covered cages. Prosecutors say those animals were used and bred for dogfighting.

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“He did get three years today which is something of a miracle because oftentimes cases end up in appeals forever, such as the case with Phoenix the pit bull,” Swanson said.

The Baltimore Humane Society says they believe this case of animal abuse and dogfighting sends a clear message.

“That dogfighting is illegal and inhumane and will not be tolerated,” Swanson said.

Adam Lippe, the assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore County, released a statement saying, “The disrespect for the animals under his care was willful and deliberate, and hopefully the lesson is that the lives of animals mean something.”

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Anyone interested in adopting the dogs can contact the Baltimore County Humane Society, which is located in Reisterstown.