(NEW YORK) — New York City police rescued 47 pit bulls from a Bronx basement and arrested a man for allegedly operating a dog-fighting ring.
Police arrested Raul Sanchez for animal fighting and cruelty in the basement of a six-story apartment building in the Bronx. The pit bulls ranged in age from 12 weeks to five years, and had various injuries indicative of dog fighting, said police.
Police also seized a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 wooden cages, dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.
The basement of the apartment building included a makeshift arena with an estimated capacity of 100 spectators, said police.
Along with Sanchez, a second man is being sought in the investigation for allegedly breeding dogs, according to police. Detectives have reportedly been looking into the duo since October for illegally breading and selling the dogs for fighting, according to ABC News affiliate WABC.
Despite a few scars and visible wounds, all the dogs were responsive and in good condition before the ASPCA moved them to a local animal shelter.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Meera Senthilingam, CNN