A multi-state investigation into an air combat network continues. This week, police seized several other dogs. The case has taken authorities from New York to Meriden in Orange, and investigators expect it to be far from over.
“We are going to take very strong action against those who engage in aerial combat,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.
It is an aerial combat network that investigators say crosses state borders and is one of the largest Tong has ever seen.
“It’s at least in two states and growing. The number of dogs for us is going up to 15 and increasing, ”Tong said.
The joint investigation includes law enforcement in New York and Connecticut.
In late July, Connecticut State Police said several state task forces and Meriden Police raided a house on Britannia Street in Meriden. There, they reported abducting eight dogs with injuries consistent with dog fighting and found several items associated with the crime, including a homemade dog fighting ring.
“Lots of tools that appear to have been designed to beat, mistreat and injure dogs,” Tong said.
Two men from Meriden and a man from Bridgeport were arrested in connection with the investigation in September.
Officials said the investigation took them to a house on Grassy Hill Road in Orange on Tuesday. Authorities seized seven dogs, describing them as tied up in outdoor cages and found in unsanitary conditions. According to police, several items taken indicate that the dogs were being kept for the purpose of fighting.
Zilla Cannamela is the president of Desmond’s Army Animal Law Advocates and says it’s no surprise there is an air combat ring here because she says it happens everywhere.
“They put these dogs in these horrible, heinous and tortured positions to have to fight for their lives,” Cannamela said.
Experts say people who hurt animals are more likely to hurt people.
“If you can perpetuate violence against an animal, you can also perpetuate violence against humans,” Cannamela said.
And authorities say the investigation is far from over.
“Unfortunately with that sort of thing you pull the thread and as you uncover more evidence, talk to more people, see more evidence of criminal behavior than you tend to find. And so you keep following the trail, ”Tong said.
Authorities say there is something we can all do to help, that if we see any signs of animal abuse, don’t ignore it.
“Animal cruelty is not just a minor thing. It’s not your business. It’s your case, and if you see any evidence of it, you should call the police, ”Tong said.