Join United Action for Animals in court this Thursday, 6/11/09 and next Tuesday 6/16/09 for the 16 victims with no voice.
Please be there at 9:00 am @ Bronx Court, Hall of Justice, 265 East 161st Street (4 train to Yankee Stadium), Bronx, NY. Be prompt so you don't miss the hearing, as there is a long security line at the entrance.
More info and location details here.
This is a heinous crime -- Estephane's basement was used as a training facility for fighting dogs, not unlike Vick's property was. These were not amateurs, and they'd been running the fighting ring for some time, as was Vick, before his place was finally discovered. So, essentially, my goal is to help make an example out of this case for bringing attention to NYC dog fighting crime, as the large orgs and media did for the Vick case for bringing attention nationwide to the crime of dog fighting in general.
Please show you will NOT tolerate dog fighting in your city! This type of animal cruelty needs more exposure so that children will learn that this is a crime and not take after those who may tempt them into participating, even watching, animals tear each other to shreds in order for humans to make money.
Five alleged dog fighters and spectators will go back to court in New York City at Bronx Court, Hall of Justice, 265 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY, on charges related to a Bronx dog fighting bust last summer.
The cases were last heard on May 13, 2009 before Judge Steven Barrett (Docket #02688-2008) who set the following hearing dates:
(1) Thursday, June 11: Judge will make a decision in regard to requests by both Cuevas and Mason to plead out. If the judge rules against them, they will be included in the trial with the other three men.
(2) Tuesday, June 16, a trial date will be set for Alexander Estephane, Lauritz Acoy and Juan Toldo on felony dogfighting charges.
-Isreal Cuevas and Alterik Mason will face misdemeanor charges because they were spectators, not dog fighters, unless they are allowed by the judge to plead out.
Almost exactly one year ago, on June 14, 2008, NYPD, acting on a tip from the New Jersey state police, rescued 16 pit bulls and two roosters from the back yard of a house at 108 East 179th Street in the Tremont section of the Bronx that doubled as a dog fighting ring. One of the dogs, that appeared to be badly hurt, died on the way to a shelter. Officers recovered $2,000 in cash and syringes used to inject the dogs with stimulants.Police arrested seven men from the Bronx and New Jersey. The suspected ring leader, Alexander Estephane, 44, lives in the Bronx building that neighbors have long believed housed the inhumane and illegal blood sport. The other men were identified as Lauritz A. Acoy, 41, and Eric A. Boyce, 33, both of the Bronx, and Israel Cuevas, 34, Juan Toldo, 38, Alterik Mason, 29 and Darnell Walker, 34, all of New Jersey.
The next day, in a separate matter of animal cruelty, Israel Cuevas was charged by the New Jersey SPCA with failure to provide food and water to animals residing at his home, 5 adult pit bulls and 12 pit bull puppies, in North Brusnwick, New Jersey. Cuevas, a senior correction officer at the New Jersey Training School for Boys, in Jamesburg, New Jersey, pled guilty to the charges and was fired from his job. Charges against Boyce and Walker were dismissed.
United Action for Animals (UAA), a New York City non-profit humane organization, has created an Anti-Animal Fighting campaign to assist with court advocacy, awareness, animal foster care and pro bono legal assistance for the Animal Care and Control of New York City, the shelter that cares for the victims.
For more information see:
Jennifer Panton, President
United Action for Animals
P.O. Box 635
New York, NY 10021212-249-9178
Many of the pit bulls that cruel people try to use for dog fighting end up at Animal Care and Control.
Brooklyn AC&C, bed delivery for Rational Animal's Mother's Comfort Project (Jan 11, 2009)
This little guy was so sweet. You can see his ears have been cropped -- he was probably used for dog fighting (had scars on his face and legs), and often the ears are cropped (as in literally the top half is cut off when the dog's a puppy) to make the head look bigger or to not get in the way when another dog is attacking its head.
Dog fighting is plain, abominable animal cruelty, and it's illegal.
And many of the dogs -- the lucky ones -- like this guy are still sweet, loving, adoptable companion animals that don't have a fighting bone in their body...which is often why they are dumped out on the streets.