A Bronx man was found guilty Friday of buying and training dogs to compete in fight-to-the-death matches against other canines.
Rasheed Richardson, 29, was found guilty by a jury â€” comprised of five men and seven women â€” on two counts including violation of the animal-welfare act and conspiracy.
During the one-week trial, jurors had to endure watching multiple brutal videos of dogs viciously fighting. In one video, a dog relentlessly mauled another who was bleeding and crying out in pain.
When cops and the ASPCA searched Richardsonâ€™s home in May 2017, they found eleven dogs housed in deplorable conditions. Five of the dogs had to be put down because they were so aggressive.
Prosecutors said Richardson bought many of the dogs out of state and then trained them to be violent and strong for fighting. He even wanted to breed his own animals to cut out the middleman.
â€śDogs trapped in this heinous blood sport live untold lives of isolation, violence and even death, all for the sake of profit,â€ť said ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Vice President Howard Lawrence.
â€śFortunately, steadfast investigation and prosecution from the NYPD and the US Attorneyâ€™s Office have shone a critical light on this horrific crime and allowed the ASPCA to help these dogs â€“ and hopefully others â€“ avoid future suffering,â€ť Lawrence added.
Richardsonâ€™s lawyer, Bruce Kaye, later said, â€śAnimal cruelty is a serious problem, and we respect the verdict, but we disagree with it.â€ť
Kaye said he would wait until after Richardsonâ€™s sentencing Nov. 19 to decide whether to appeal.
Richardson could face up to 10 years in prison.