ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – A year-long investigation into a dog fighting ring culminated Thursday, April 14, 2016 with simultaneous raids in Rock Island and Davenport. According to Rock Island Police, ten federal search warrants were served in both cities starting at 6 a.m. as part of what police call an on-going investigation.
Residents of West 8th Street in Davenport watched and took pictures as officers served those warrants Thursday.
The investigation began about a year ago as a result of information developed by the Rock Island Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Quad Cities Federal Gang Task Force. During the raids, police say they recovered dozens of dogs as well as narcotics and a firearm.
In a release late Thursday afternoon, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which assisted police in seizing the dogs, said responders removed 64 dogs, and also found heavy chains and training devices consistent with dog fighting.
The ASPCA also said it had transported the animals to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where the animals will receive medical attention and behavioral enrichment until a court determines custody of the dogs.
In a statement, Tim Rickey, the vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response, said “the level of brutality we continue to see in organized dog fighting rings is profoundly troubling. We’re relieved these animals have finally been removed from this cycle of violence. Many people will be surprised to learn that dog fighting is happening in their community. It’s an underground activity that goes mostly unnoticed by the public, but it happens all across the country.”
Police have not released any information on arrests, and say the investigation is still underway.
- The following agencies have been involved in the investigation:
- Rock Island Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- United State’s Attorney’s Office
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Illinois State Police
- Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office
- Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department
- Moline Police Department
- East Moline Police Department
- Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group
- Davenport Police Department
- Scott County Sheriff’s Department
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals