Sacto 9-1-1
January 25, 2011
Man sought for allegedly cropping dogs' ears for fighting

puppy2.jpgBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A reward has been offered for the person who allegedly used scissors and fishing line to crudely crop the ears of two dogs in Monterey County.

The ears of the pit bulls, which were left painfully infected due to the cropping, are now being treated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (The dogs are in photos at left and below.)

The $1,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the person who cropped the ears of the two dogs in Monterey. The cropping was done a makeshift table using a small pair of scissors to cut ears short and fishing line to suture, The SPCA said.

A Sacramento SPCA official said cropping of ears is often performed on dogs trained to fight.

Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento SPCA, said that ear-cropping is standard practice among those who illegally pit dogs against each other for sport. Dog-fighters also crop tails.

Johnson said people who fight dogs want an animal without a tail or flapping ears because without those parts it is harder for another dog to bite and gain an advantage in the fighting ring.

Johnson is aware of crude-cropping efforts but he has not seen evidence of the practice in the Sacramento SPCA shelter for the past couple of years.

"You can tell in the look of the animal, because the cropping is tighter to the head," he said.

The SPCA does not support any cropping of ears. The organization only supports the cropping of tails when a veterinarian determines it is in the best interest of the animal, such as when the tail is being bloodied because it is striking objects in a home.

The Monterey SPCA said that ear crop surgery requires a skilled veterinarian and owners willing to provide follow-up care. The pit bulls mutilated in the Monterey case, now known as Frankie and Anna, are reported to be bright, alert and taking antibiotic and pain medication.

The Monterey SPCA has four full-time humane officers with peace officer status to investigate crimes involving animals. They suspect a man named Damian Maldonado performed the surgery while representing himself as a veterinarian, the SPCA stated.

His business card, reading "El Cartel Bully Kennels," shows a 209 area code number, the SPCA stated.

The Monterey SPCA wants to get the word out in the Sacramento area because the 209 area code extends into southern Sacramento County, said Beth Brookhouser, director of community outreach for the Monterey SPCA.

"We believe he is traveling around," said Brookhouser. "Hopefully, somebody knows where he is and can contact us."

The Monterey SPCA can be reached at (831) 373-2631.

puppy1.jpg

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

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