Over 40 Dogs Seized in Dogfighting Bust
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Volusia County’s Animal Services Division, Halifax Humane Society, the City of Daytona Beach’s Animal Control Unit, the City’s Code Enforcement Division, and the Daytona Beach Police Department put in a joint effort to put an end to a local dogfighting ring.
According to a release, Noble Geathers, 53, Earl Holmes, 50, and Benjamin Ponder, 33, each faces a list of felony charges, including animal cruelty, animal fighting, and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
All charges came after Daytona Beach Police Department obtained search warrants allowing entrance to the properties on 225 & 227 Reva Street, and an adjacent vacant lot, during the early-morning hours of February 22, 2021.
Fencing, which had been put up illegally, inside the vacant lot had to be removed before officers were able to access the dogs.
42 pit bulls – 24 adults and 18 puppies – were found living in those properties, most being kept outside in small kennels made of wood and wire.
Some dogs had no access to shelter, and the ones that did were living in areas full of urine and feces.
Some dogs had healing cuts or wounds on their bodies which are consistent with dogfighting.
Medical records, various kinds of dog supplements, and medications were obtained in the initial investigation. The medical records were reported to be maintained by the defendants.
All the puppies and adult pit bulls were immediately removed from the care of the defendants and taken to Halifax Humane Society.
A court hearing later this week could determine if those dogs will be returned to the defendants or if they will be awarded to the police department. If that happens, Daytona Beach Police Department would sign them over to the Humane Society with hopes of some of the dogs being adopted out in the future.