46 Dogs Rescued From Michigan Dog-Fighting Operation

Authorities arrested two men in Kalamazoo, MI, in a home where they found dogs tied to weighted chains and blood.


After a four-month investigation, authorities have shut down a dog-fighting operation and arrested two people, Leonard Turner and Kelvin Thomas. They also seized 46 dogs; some had scarring consistent with dog fighting.

The dogs were seized from two residences. Most of the dogs were taken from a house that had dogs tied to weighted chains, “buried in weights,” according to Steve Lawrence of Kalamazoo County Animal Control, who spoke to 24 Hours News 8. “Most of the chains were large logging chains, with more weight on them to make [the dog’s] necks stronger.”

Neighbors apparently knew nothing.

“I’m hoping like hell it ain’t true, because like I said, he’ll have a batch of puppies every once in a while and I figured he was just making some extra money,” said neighbor Ken Stone, speaking to 24 Hours News 8.

The rest of the dogs were taken from a second house, which had more of dogs in chains, and something even more damming: A dog-fighting ring in the garage.

“There was actually an area that had walls set up in a box-like figure in the garage,” Chris Schindler of the Humane Society of the United States told 24 Hours News 8. “There were actually large amounts of blood even be able to see visually, and then when we sprayed it with Bluestar, we were able to see that there were massive amounts of blood.” Bluestar is a “reagent whose purpose is to reveal blood stains that have been washed out, wiped off or which are invisible to the naked eye,” according the manufacturer’s site.

The Humane Society of the United States assisted with the case, and it released a video of the rescue efforts. In the video, Schindler goes on, “We found massive amounts of blood [using the Bluestar], even being able to show areas where the dogs brushed up against walls where they were fighting.”

According to 24 Hour News 8, “Turner was arraigned Tuesday on four charges: possession of fighting animals, use of a building for fighting animals, breeding fighting animals and possession of equipment for fighting animals.”

Authorities also say that the two men knew each other, and that more arrests may be on the way as evidence is gathered.

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