Attorney General Tong Moves for State Custody of Seized Pit Bulls in Dog Fighting Raid

Attorney General William Tong is seeking state custody of eight pit bulls seized in a raid of a Meriden property suspected of operating as part of a multistate illegal dog fighting ring.

Connecticut State Police raided a property at 109 Britannia Street in Meriden on July 31, seizing eight pit bulls found in cages in a backyard. Police discovered a large makeshift and portable dog-fighting ring and a turf square stained with suspected dried animal blood. Police also seized leashes, hanging ropes designed to strengthen dogs’ jaws and neck muscles to improve biting, dog treadmills, a bicycle and attached harness designed to force dogs to run, “break stick” knives to force dogs’ jaws to open after bites, a whip, electronic animal scales, electric collars, and weighted vests.

The dogs appear to be between one and five years of age and physically healthy. Two of the dogs have healed scars consistent with dog fighting. A state animal control officer determined two dogs were too aggressive to be safely removed and returned to their kennels for a complete examination.

The dogs are currently in State Police custody as evidence in the ongoing police investigation into the dog fighting ring.

Attorney General Tong is now seeking to place the dogs under permanent custody of the Department of Agriculture.

“Dog fighting is cruel and illegal. These pit bulls were viciously abused and conditioned to be aggressive and violent fighters. A multistate police investigation is ongoing and those responsible for these heinous crimes will be held to justice. We are moving today for permanent state custody to ensure the safe care of the abused dogs,” said Attorney General Tong.

“Dog fighting is a despicable illegal underground activity with negative ramifications for the domestic animals subjected to this abuse,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We encourage anyone who suspects such an activity of taking place to report it to the proper authorities to ensure the health and safety of the animals.”

Assistant Attorney General Daniel Salton and Matthew Levine, Deputy Associate Attorney General/Chief of the Environment Section are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.