In a recent raid of a property suspected of housing for dogfighting, the feds rescued dozens of dogs. Mercury News reported that those included are “pit bull-type dogs,” nine puppies, and a Chihuahua.
This raid took place on June 17, after a month-long investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The probe reportedly started with an undercover purchase of a dog. They used the dog for negotiations with the suspected ringleader, Carlos Villasenor. In a federal criminal complaint in Sacramento, they charged Villasenor with possession of an animal for participation in an animal fighting venture.
Villasenor also alluded to the existence of rival dogfighting rings in the Bay Area. Allegedly, he warned the undercover agent, by saying “don’t let this stuff out in the bay; they’re my rivals. They’re going to try to breed it; I don’t sell anything on the west.”
What Happened when the Feds Found the Dogs?
The feds found the dogs “housed on heavy chains attached to small cylindrical huts or trees, spread throughout the property.” Two others were chained in between a Chihuahua, which prosecutors believe was a “bait to encourage fighting dogs to attack without causing any risk of injury to the fighting dog.”
“They had also spaced the pit bulls so that they could see one another but not reach one another. The perpetrators also housed two additional dogs in crates individually, Special Agent Anitra Mackie wrote in the complaint. “They also found one dog who had recently given birth to a litter of puppies behind the residence in an outbuilding, along with nine puppies.”
Additionally, the feds found testosterone boosting supplements and hides resembling animal skin. They also came across “break sticks” used to pry open a dog’s mouth when it has bitten and held and a contraption designed to “immobilize” aggressive female dogs for breeding. They also found a register that noted how many “matches” various dogs had previously won.
At his first court appearance Monday, Villasenor got up to date with his rights. He was due back in court Tuesday when a magistrate was scheduled to rule on a prosecution motion to keep him in custody pending trial, court records show.