Police bust couple for running a dog fighting ring in home they shared with five children

On Wednesday officials in Chester County, Pennsylvania busted a dog fighting ring operating out of Shane Santiago and Laura Acampora’s home that they shared with their five children.  The couple has been charged with cruelty to animals and endangering the lives of children.

Police first became suspicious of a dog fighting ring in the area when several dead pit bulls were found in the county over the past few months.  One dog was found in February maimed and left for dead in a roadside ravine. That dog, now called Radar, is recovering under the care of the Chester County SPCA. Another dog was found caged and burned along the side of a road in September.

Police were led to Santiago when he became part of a drug investigation. They also received several complaints from neighbors of the couple who reported regular visitors with out-of-state license plates sometimes leaving with injured dogs. Last week Santiago and Acampora were evicted from their rented home and police were granted access from the property owner to access the home. What police found was a “house of horrors.”

In the backyard were several doghouses. Two pit bulls were found injured and many appeared to be malnourished. One dead pit bull puppy was found wrapped in trash bags in a trash can. Inside the home training equipment was found, including treadmills, steroids and bite sticks. The walls and carpet of the basement, which served as an arena, had blood splattered on them. “It was a house of torture, a house of pain, a house of horrors for these dogs,” said District Attorney Thomas Hogan. “From the prosecutor’s standpoint this is troubling. From the standpoint of a human, from the standpoint of a man who loves dogs, this is disgusting.”

The couple’s five children were found to be very malnourished and have been placed in the care of relatives. Six dogs were rescued and taken to the Chester County SPCA. “We’re continuing to take care of their injuries, give them proper vet care and socialize them,” said Rebecca Turnbull of Chester County SPCA. “And then we’ll be able to evaluate their temperament and see what the future holds for them.” Anyone wishing to help the six dogs now in the are of the SPCA can make a donation to their Marshall Medical Emergency Fund at  their website.

Santiago has confessed to killing at least 10 dogs, including one dog that he hanged after it bit his daughter. Santiago and Acampora are charged with more than 30 counts of animal cruelty, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy to commit animal cruelty. Officials hope the arrests will help police catch any additional dog fighting activity in the area. “We are calling on law enforcement, legislators, and the citizens of both Pennsylvania and the United States to stamp out this barbaric sport,” Hogan said.

 




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27 comments

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    December 13, 2012 10:32 amPosted 1 year ago
    Pedro

    With the pathetic animal cruelty laws in this country 30 counts will probably get him a $100 fine. Especially in PA.

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      December 13, 2012 11:27 amPosted 1 year ago
      Traci

      So unfortunately true….. makes me sick! Do these people not realize that that behavior and the ability to do those cruel things to helpless creatures will LEAD TO more helpless creatures, including humans!

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        February 3, 2013 4:13 pmPosted 1 year ago
        connie`

        Do you mean helpless creatures such as aborted babies? Just wondering. Why don’t we get our asses up in the air over the murder and mistreatment of unborn babies? Anyone?

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    December 13, 2012 10:33 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    People like this deserve a punishment to its fullest extent,so they can learn from it.

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    December 13, 2012 11:22 amPosted 1 year ago
    Sandy

    “Santiago has confessed to killing at least 10 dogs, including one dog that he hanged after it bit his daughter.” He was the one that made the dog aggressive. Logic dictates that he should be hanged. These 2 pathetic excuses for human beings should be put away for a minimum of 20 years. That way their children will not have to deal with them. Those poor kids. They were just as abused as the dogs. Because animal cruelty laws are so pitiful, we can only hope they go away for a long time on the child abuse charges. Let’s hope these poor dogs and children get the help they need.

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      December 13, 2012 11:28 amPosted 1 year ago
      Traci

      These “people” have no souls.. they couldn’t. God Bless all of the animals involved and God Rest All The Souls of the poor ones that didn’t make it through it. And God Bless those poor children. I Pray they aren’t messed up for life.

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    December 13, 2012 11:56 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    How horrible! These people need to be neutered/spayed so they never have any more children and it is horrible that they had children and apparently didn’t care for them. They weren’t ‘parents’ at all!
    I hope these children are able to get over this and not let their mistreatment ruin their lives or cause them to follow in their parent’s footsteps.
    So sad for the poor dogs and hoping the survivors are rehabbed or if that isn’t possible sent to a sanctuary.
    It is also sad that this went on so long before it was found out.

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    December 13, 2012 1:10 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    While I would never condone a dog biting a child, it is no surprise given the fact that these dogs were trained to be vicious. To encourage a mean temperament and fighting in a dog is horrible in itself, and to keep your children around them is absolutely absurd. I am a resident of Pennsylvania and I hope that these two get much more than a slap on the wrist, especially with the child endangerment charges on top of the charges for the dogs.

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    December 13, 2012 3:57 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    They are drug addict scum of the earth.. They do not care about the children or the dogs.. they are selffish blood thirsty, money hungry sub~humans and do not deserve to be let out… Killing 10 dogs is unthinkable to me and u but to them its nothing…Our laws have to be changed , every state needs to make it so bad that the sentence fits the crime…If u do not think its a crime to abuse an animal then the laws won’t protect them either….please notify ur reps and state u want stricter laws to protect our dogs….this is really bad and up and down the east coast, I’d like to know here and burn them down with the people inside, but save the dogs of course…Lets see what these ass wipes get when they go to court??? then we will know how we stand with the laws and our court system… if its a slap on the hand or fine this will never stop…..it will not stop until we stop them…….

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    December 13, 2012 9:59 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    These are not people at all, this is what true monsters look like.

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    December 14, 2012 9:33 amPosted 1 year ago
    David R. Thomas

    Just TORTURE & KILL the MONSTERS!!!!!!

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    December 15, 2012 2:06 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Five kids being raised to be bottom-feeders like their “parents.”I guess food stamps and welfare wasn’t lucrative enough so the lazy trash made their “living” like all crap maggots do that are too useless to get a real job. Abusing dogs, gambling and drug dealing. Sucks to be them. Take their kids away from them and lock them up for at least 20 years for being sadistic wastes of space.

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    December 15, 2012 12:42 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Gloria H. Whittier

    I WISH WE COULD HANG BOTH OF THEM FROM A TREE UNTIL THEY EXPIRE LIKE THE DID THAT POOR ANIMAL.TAKE THE CHILDREN AWAY FROM THEM FOREVER!!!! THEY ARE NOT FIT TO BE ANYWHERE EXCEPT IN PRISON!!!!!

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    December 15, 2012 3:30 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Carey

    I am so sick of hearing about these sick F***S! We need to continue to make everyone aware of these monsters and how little is done about it, we need to keep putting a ton of pressure on the justice system to really punish these so called people otherwise it’s not going to get much better. A**HOLES! Have fun burning in HELL with your dark master you two selfish maggots!

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    December 15, 2012 8:23 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Steven H

    Worked in law enforcemet, been a shelter volunteer for a few years. Socialize pit bull terriers regularly. These two scumbags should not be allowed to have children, dogs or the right to do anything. Pa is so liberal and full of idiots who voted for Obama that they will probably get probation. Both should serve minimum 20 yrs and have chidren taken away permanently. They both look like they have records, death penalty for both!

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    December 18, 2012 11:12 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Blue Pitbull Lover

    They said that he hung a dog for biting his child. My question is what did the child do to the dog to get bit. I ask that because most fighting dogs aren’t human aggressive.from what I understand they are trained that way so they can be handling while in the ring! As far as dog fighters they are some of the lowest life forms on earth! I own 4 indoor spoiled pits that are some of the biggest babies and lap dogs . I think u would catch more bites from our 4 Chihuahuas, Rat Terrier and Shitzapoo lol!

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    December 20, 2012 7:19 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I dont get it because some states it is legal to have dog fights lol america is fucked up country

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    December 20, 2012 9:12 amPosted 1 year ago
    stephanie

    this is so horrible but so common everywhere, and ppl wonder why pitbulls have such a bad reputation. its because of ppl like this and everyone that walked through their door to put their dog in that awful ring to fight. i think they should put this couple in a ring and let an mma fighter have a ball with them. let them see how it feels to fight without it being their choice. i just got a lil pit bull pup who is wonderful and in training for a service therapy dog, i want ppl to see that their are great, loyal, friendly pit bulls, its the humans that are raising pit bulls to be mean, aggresive and bad. it makes me sick to know that their are ppl like these ones that shouldnt have children or pets. i hope they rot in jail.

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    December 22, 2012 1:20 pmPosted 1 year ago
    John H

    Lock them up, throw away the key. Most serial killers start their killing on animals. They torture and then kill animals, then move onto human beings. These folks should never see the light of day again in my opinion. But they definitely should not raise children. That’s a right they need to lose. The prison time is debatable. Raising those kids is an open & shut case. Anyone who would put a child in that environment loses their right to raise kids. Visitation maybe. Being parents again……..NO!

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    December 25, 2012 8:57 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    in cases like this , and the so called justice system lets them get away with it as equivalent as a misdemeanour, i personally would permit the drive by punishment,at least it works

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    December 28, 2012 4:22 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    One word,EVIL…

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    January 13, 2013 6:41 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Cheston Monroe

    How can we prevent this ignorance when the fucking NFL doesnt give a damn , i say this because how the fuck does the NFL allow Micheal Vick to continue to play football??? As well he wants to own dogs ! ! The NFL is sending the message that it’s ok to fight dogs you can still be a pro athlete ! ! When will law makers make a law it should be a forcible felony with a mandatory 85% on a 25 year sentence ! it should be a federal offence ! ! SHAME ON THE NFL ! ! ! As well these to pukes of life should be sentenced to 25 yrs in prison with an 85 % mandatory to serve of the 25 years sentence. They keep trying to ban pitbulls they need to band pitbull dog fighters ! i love all my pitbulls and keep them exstreamly well taken care of get shit together law makers ! !

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    January 22, 2013 7:19 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Cruel fucker

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    January 24, 2013 7:57 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Put hem in charge of taking care of shelter dogs for the rest of their lives to pay back to the animals

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      March 8, 2013 12:55 pmPosted 1 year ago
      Sharon

      No! They will be volunteering for the gas chamber duty! Please, God no!

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    February 17, 2013 7:58 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Lethal injection is the only way to stop these perverts, when they are released ,they will be at it again.

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    December 20, 2013 8:14 amPosted 7 months ago
    kakadu

    im from germany…the whole word is watching what will happen…i hope this two bastardos will go for at lest 20 years!!!!!USA show your balls!!!!

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