Updated: 11/22/2013 12:10 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
A puppy seized in this case
Photo: KSTP Photo/ Chad Nelson
Thirty-four-year-old Leroy Longs of Minneapolis
Photo: Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Charges have been filed against a man accused of breeding and training dogs for fighting.
Thirty-four-year-old Leroy Longs of Minneapolis was charged with felony animal fighting, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Friday. The criminal complaint says Longs kept dogs in eight locations and bred and trained them for dog fights.
A total of 18 dogs were seized, which included five puppies. Police also recovered dog fighting paraphernalia and a dog fighting manual from homes in Hennepin County. Police say they saved the dogs from almost-certain death.
According to the city of Minneapolis, officers from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control and the Minneapolis Police Department executed 10 search warrants at addresses that were all connected to the suspected dog fighter. Nine of the addresses were located in Minneapolis, and one was in New Hope. Two guns and narcotics were also found in the search.
Minneapolis Animal Care and Control has taken the dogs to its animal shelter. At least one of the dogs had visible cuts all over its body.
The dogs were saved from crude kennels, and most of the kennels were locked shut, police say. The criminal complaint also says a chain was padlocked to each dog's neck and that the dogs lived 24 hours per day in the kennels.
Authorities say the dogs are in good condition and have a chance to lead a normal life after being taken out of the fighting environment.
Illegal dog fighting also attracts illegal gambling; authorities say the winning dog can bring in as much as $15,000 to the owner of the dog. Minneapolis investigators will not confirm if they are looking at illegal gaming as part of the investigation.
Anyone with information on this suspected dog fighting ring is asked to text information to 847 411 (Tip 411), or call the tip line at 612-692-TIPS (8477).
The city is reminding the public, "Dog fighting is a terrible crime that is harmful to not only the dogs involved, but the overall community as well. When there is dog fighting activity in a community those involved are often engaged in other criminal activity including narcotics, domestic violence and weapons."
Anyone who suspects animal cruelty in their neighborhood is asked to call 311, and anyone who witnesses animal cruelty is asked to call 911.
Watch our previous coverage in the video box above.