Monday, December 15, 2008

19 dogs taken into custody following two-day crackdown

FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS

Nineteen dogs were taken into protective custody and four men were charged with animal cruelty following a two-day crackdown by Cook County Sheriff’s police in Chicago and the south suburbs, police said.

A joint task force investigating animal crimes and abuse arrested the men and took 19 dogs, mostly pit bulls, into protective custody during the crackdown, according to a release from Cook County Sheriff’s police.

The arrests happened Saturday afternoon and on Dec. 9 after task force officers received tips and began investigating. Many of the dogs were found in urine and feces with little or not food and some had visible scars, the release said.

At one location in Markham, police seized tow chains, typically used around a dog’s neck to strengthen its neck and chest in preparation for dog fighting, the release said.

Two men arrested on Saturday, one in Chicago and one in Chicago Heights, each face additional charges because both men are convicted felons and are prohibited by law from owning certain types of dogs, including pit bulls, the release said.

Police arrested a third man on Dec. 9 after attending a dog fight in the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood that the task force broke up on Nov. 15, the release said.

Police arrested and charged four men during the sweep:

Dameon Hamilton, 31, of the 14800 block of South Edbrook in Dolton, was charged with two counts of cruel treatment of animals and two counts of failing to provide proper veterinary care after officers found two emaciated pit bulls on short chains in his backyard on Dec. 9.

Marc Marshall, 31, of the 16100 block of Paulina in Markham, was charged with six counts of cruel treatment of animals and six counts of failing to provide proper veterinary care after officers found six pit bulls, ranging in age from five weeks to 6-years-old, in crates inside his unheated garage. Marshall was found at the Englewood dog fight and was found to have tow chains in the garage.

Dwan Johnson, 34, of the 6600 block of South Aberdeen in Chicago, a convicted drug felon, was charged with six counts of unlawful possession of certain dogs by a felon, six counts of cruel treatment of animals and six counts of failing to provide proper veterinary care. Johnson had six pit bulls in cages in his second floor apartment kitchen and spare bedroom when officers arrived Saturday morning. Officers also found feces and urine in the dogs’ food bowls.

Jason Thomas, 32, of the 800 block of Ellis in Ford Heights, was charged with five counts of possession of certain dogs by a felon. Police found five pit bulls and a Mastiff in Thomas’ basement and a cold back porch.

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