AKRON, Ohio — Alvin Banks, 56, was discovered running an illegal dog fighting ring out of his home when police and federal agents raided it last November. Forty seven people were arrested and eight dogs were rescued at the time. A couple of the dogs had fresh wounds and were bleeding from a recent fight. As officials on the scene canvased the rest of the house, they were appalled by what they found. After the raid, the dogs were taken in by the Humane Society of Greater Akron. Unfortunately, one had to be euthanized for aggression issues, but the rest were rehabilitated and looking for good homes.
In the beginning of the year, Banks and nine others were officially indicted for their crimes. Banks plead guilty to all five counts, including “sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture” and he was sentenced on Tuesday. The judge ordered him to jail for two years and to pay $44,000 in restitution to the Humane Society. The remaining nine, including Mark McCraw who faces charges similar to Banks, will be sentenced later this month.
While the punishment certainly could have been harsher, it will hopefully serve to deter at least some individuals who would consider committing such crimes. Until it is stopped, it’s important to continue to raise awareness about dog fighting and report any suspicious activity you may see in your community. Moreover, we are so thankful to the organizations that continue to rescue these dogs and rehabilitate them when they can.