I’d like to recognize the Deputies who arrested two dogfighting Gong Show contestants in Florida last week for restraint above and beyond the call of duty in not pummeling them into the dirt. Armed with a police baton, I’m not sure I could have managed the same.
One dog had to be euthanized at the scene:
“Every time his heart beat, you could see the veins, blood squirting out,” recalled Georgia Monfort, the county’s animal control director. “He was just pumping out.”
Father knows best:
One of the men, Omar Aldridge, 29, of Starke was also charged with felony child neglect for fleeing into nearby woods off Circle G Lane when police arrived, leaving his 4-year-old son seated on a picnic table in the midst of 14 other fighting dogs — all but one of them restrained by chains.
Deputy Clark said the boy was seated alone and when asked the whereabouts of his parents, replied “My daddy ran into the woods with everybody else.”
Two men charged with dogfighting:
Cletus Gaskins, 37, of Sanderson was charged along with Mr. Aldridge with fighting animals, a third-degree felony, and mutilating or killing them, first-degree misdemeanors.
Mr. Gaskins was covered in blood, had a wounded Pitbull in a cage in the back of his truck and police found a loaded 9 mm automatic pistol on the front seat. He had a reasonable explanation for all this:
When questioned, Mr. Gaskins said he was in the area because the dog had gotten loose and he had taken it there for breeding purposes. He denied knowledge of anyone fleeing into the woods.
This guy is jokes. And as it turns out, Mr. Mary Poppins Gaskins was also babysitting Mr. Aldridge’s kid, per Mr. Aldridge, who was only in the area on a little sightseeing tour himself:
Mr. Aldridge came back to the scene panting and sweating and was halted by the officers when he attempted to enter the rear seat of the police car. He denied that he had fled, and said he left his son with Mr. Gaskins when he went “down the road.”
Maybe he was on a walkabout and just achieved enlightenment when the police happened to come by. Coincidentally, the area of his spiritual awakening looked somewhat similar to a dogfighting pit:
Police then followed what was described as a well-worn path to a dog fighting ring equipped with an overhead light that in turn was powered by an extension cord that had been connected back to a house occupied by a woman not connected to the case. The officer said the ground along the path and ring area were blood-stained.
Deputy Clark also noted bones, including dog bones, strewn about the path.
Among the items seized were a bottle of Blood Stop Powder commonly sold as a coagulant when dehorning animals, two scales and what the officers described as devices for fighting and baiting dogs.
So we have the fighting pit and accessories, wounded dogs, dog bones, bloodsoaked owners – which perfectly describes a nice place to bring your tot for a little midnight dog breeding rendezvous. It even offers daycare! And guns! I can see how the officers might have gotten the wrong impression about dogfighting going on but now that it’s all been asplain-ed, I think we can see the whole thing’s just a big misunderstanding.
Meanwhile, the future for the rescued dogs sounds uncertain:
The confiscated pit bulls remained at the animal shelter early this week, awaiting a veterinarian’s examination and treatment, which is typical in animal cruelty cases, Ms. Monfort said.
She’d been in contact with the Alachua County Humane Society about a Gainesville-area rescue that rehabilitates pit bulls. However, the society’s associate director Eric Van Ness said it’s unlikely the rescue would take animals from outside the area, even if there’s room for more than a dozen additional dogs.
“The problem is they are really difficult to rehabilitate and make adoptable,” he said. “It takes a huge commitment of time and effort and it’s never guaranteed.”
Ugh. There’s no guarantee that any dog will be a safe and reliable family pet. Also, newsflash – there’s no guarantee on – oh, what’s the word? – ah yes – anything in life.