Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dog-fighting ring busted at day care center

Blood spattered the garage of a home day care in Chicago Ridge, Ill., that was also the base of an alleged dog- fighting ring, authorities said Wednesday, describing battered and malnourished dogs and the devices used to train them found not far from where children played.

Police said four people were arrested, and felony dog-fighting charges are pending against several of them, including the day care operator's husband. Authorities did not immediately release their names.

Nine battered dogs - four of which were puppies - were rescued, police said.

"The dogs were in horrific condition," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at the Animal Welfare League in suburban Chicago Ridge, where several of the dogs were undergoing surgery and rehabilitation. "This is as bad as we've seen."

Dart said approximately 10 children were found in the day care during the raid Tuesday, but they were not in the immediate vicinity of the dogs.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Kendall Marlowe said the Maywood day care was shut down Wednesday and was under investigation. He said it had been licensed since March 2004 and for a capacity of seven children.

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