Suspects Deny Abusing Pit Bulls

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A police raid on a South Sacramento home last week led to the discovery of more than a dozen pit bulls officials say were abused, but one of the suspects says the animals weren’t mistreated.

Sacramento SWAT team members raided a home on 71st Street on December 15 in search of a wanted gang member. The suspect was not located, but police found 15 pit bulls, three of them puppies, that they say were chained to posts in miserable conditions.

Sacramento residents are only allowed to own three dogs.

“The conditions for the animals were actually quite poor,” said Sacramento Animal Care Services spokesperson Penny Cistaro.

The animals looked like they had been chained up for days in the rain without food or clean water.

“The water buckets that are there are chewed, dirty and muddy. The water is dirty,” Cistaro said.

Two of the pit bulls caretakers hotly denied they abused the dogs and said animal control investigators are “crazy.”

“Baloney. No, they’re wrong, that’s not true,” Sandie said. “They’re very healthy dogs… they get cared for better than I get cared for.”

Another caretaker, Richard, said he was charged in court Wednesday but maintained that he was simply breeding the dogs, not training them for fighting.

“A lot of people like home protection dogs,” Richard said.

The owner of the pit bulls, William Jefferson, is still in jail on $80,000 bond for felony torture, torment and depriving animals of sustenance. His next court date is Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Officials have not said whether the suspects have the proper paperwork for breeding.

Animal control is hoping to eventually give the dogs up for adoption.

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