The superintendent of a Bronx building has been indicted on animal cruelty charges in connection with the dog fighting ring he was allegedly running. Raul Sanchez, 57, was charged with 63 counts, including 13 felonies connected to the staging of dog fights, breeding, training and selling dogs to be engaged in fights. If convicted, he faces years behind bars.
Last month, the ASPCA, in conjunction with the NYPD Vice Enforcement Division and Bronx District Attorney’s office, assisted in the removal, forensic evidence collection and on-scene documentation and sheltering of 50 dogs seized from a dog fighting operation at 1254 Sherman Avenue, a six-story apartment building in the Bronx.
Many of the dogs, which ranged in age from 12 weeks to five years, exhibited injuries indicative of fighting. They were living in a windowless basement, which included a makeshift arena with estimated capacity for 100 spectators. Also recovered were a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 crude wooden cages, multiple pet carriers, U.S. currency, and paraphernalia associated with dog fighting, including dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes, and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.
“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Howard Lawrence, senior director of operations for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department. “The dogs we saw today exhibited scarring and injuries consistent with fighting dogs. The ASPCA is determined to protect New York City’s animals from this form of cruelty.”