RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man is in police custody Friday night, his mother out on bond. Both are charged in an elaborate dog fighting ring that was run out of a house on Richmond's Southside.
The house seems normal, until you get a peek into the backyard.
"We saw that there was an increased activity of dogs on his property," said Jody Jones from Richmond Animal Control. "At which time we went in on some compliance issues and saw some evidence that there may be some dog fighting going on the property."
The search led to the arrest of Richard Robinson, a 32 year old already once convicted of a dog fighting charge in Richmond and his mother 60 year old Ardeller Morris, who owns the property.
The animal control search revealed all kinds of gruesome devices used for the express purpose of training dogs to fight. They found thick chains were connected to car axels dug deep into the ground. Authorities say, not the type of material you find at a reputable breeder.
"It's not how you typically keep a pet," said Jones
Animal control removed 12 different pit bulls from the property and they are now in their custody. Many had wounds consistent with dog fighting. One is so badly injured that its life is in danger.
New laws related to dog fighting have been recently passed by the general assembly. It could mean Robinson is facing a much stiffer penalty then he did the last time he was convicted.
"It has put serious teeth into the penalties for dog-fighting, which Mr. Robinson is about to find out," said Robin Starr from Richmond SPCA.
Robinson will spend the weekend in jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning. We did speak briefly to his mother, the other suspect in this case, she refused to give us their side of the story.