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

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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.

 

28 thoughts on “Police bust couple for running a dog fighting ring in home they shared with five children”

  1. 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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    • 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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  2. “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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    • 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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