LA deputies raid dog-fighting training center

AP News
Posted: Mar 03, 2011 2:23 PM
LA deputies raid dog-fighting training center

A couple was arrested and 17 pit bulls seized when authorities raided a dog fight training center equipped with treadmills and surgical gear to treat wounded dogs.

Many of the dogs were tied to stakes in the yard and dried blood was found on a portable wooden fighting ring found leaning against a wall, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said.

Jesse Jimenez, 43, and his wife, Yvette Jimenez, 41, were arrested during Wednesday's raid and about an ounce of cocaine was recovered, Capt. Mike Parker said in a news release. The couple was booked for investigation of dog fighting and possession of cocaine.

Their four children, ages 1 through 14, were placed with child protective services.

During interrogation, both suspects acknowledged their role in the fight center, Parker said. They are scheduled to go to court Friday.

An attorney for the couple could not be located. Parker did not immediately return a telephone message.

Items found at the compound included surgical tools, medicine, intravenous saline solution and syringes, along with tools needed for stitches, Parker said.

Exercise equipment included three treadmills, including one made of wooden slats. Training records and study guides about breeds and dog fighting were also recovered.

Deputies got an anonymous tip on their 24-hour dog-fighting tip line over a month ago, Parker said, and an investigation was launched. When deputies got enough information for a warrant, they conducted the raid.

Parker said the maximum penalty for felony animal cruelty is three years in prison.

Lake Los Angeles is about 70 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.