3 LI residents charged with running dogfighting ring

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WYANDANCH -

Police say they broke up a major dogfighting ring on Long Island that involved dozens of pit bulls being tortured and trained to fight for profit.

Late last month, investigators from the state attorney general's office, Suffolk police and the ASPCA removed dozens of pit bulls from two homes in Wyandanch. Officials announced Thursday that it was part of a take down of a dogfighting ring that they dubbed "Operation Bloodline."

Officials say Richard Davis, Martin Newkirk and Taikeem Wheeler were running what state Attorney General Eric Scneiderman calls a sophisticated breeding and training organization for dogfighting. The attorney general says it was run out of two locations under the guise of kennels.

Officials say they were raised and trained to fight. Some they says are as young as one week old.

"These dogs were treated in a manner to make them angry, designed to make them fighters, to make them anti-social and to make money off of their suffering,” said Schneiderman.

Schneiderman says the pit bulls were kept in the houses with no visible food or drinkable water.  He said many had scars from bite wounds and some even had broken bones. Schneiderman said that none of them appeared to have ever been treated by a veterinarian.

Two of the dogs had to be put down because of their injuries. Officials say the rest are being treated and will eventually be put up for adoption.

Davis, Newkirk and Wheeler are charged with multiple counts of animal fighting, animal torture and conspiracy.

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