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July 10, 2013

Pittsburgh Dogfighter Sentenced to Jail Time

The Humane Society of the United States assisted in investigation and rehabilitation of rescued dogs

A Pittsburgh judge handed down a stiff sentence to convicted dogfighter Darryl Bryant, after The Humane Society of the United States assisted authorities with the investigation, seizure and care of the dogs, and provided expert testimony in the criminal trial. Bryant was sentenced to up to six years six months behind bars, and no less than three years, three months. The jail time will be followed by 11 years’ probation, during which time Bryant is forbidden from possessing, caring for or interacting with any dogs.

Janette Reever, deputy manager of animal fighting response for The HSUS who testified in the case, said: “The dogs we rescued in this case suffered horribly, so we are pleased to see justice served. This sentence is a powerful deterrent for anyone considering participating in the despicable bloodsport of dogfighting.”

The HSUS applauds Assistant District Attorney Rachel Fleming for vigorously prosecuting this case. During the sentencing, Judge Thomas Flaherty held up a stack of letters he had received from outraged members of the public urging him to hand down the maximum sentence possible. There were also protestors outside the courthouse who wanted to see the defendant receive jail time.

Background:

  • The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team assisted the Pittsburgh Police Department and Wilkinsburg Police Department in a dogfighting investigation and raid resulting in the seizure of 13 dogs and suspected dogfighting paraphernalia. 
  • Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states.
  • It is a third-degree felony to own, possess, keep, or train a dog for the purpose of dogfighting in Pennsylvania.
  • The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. The HSUS asks anyone with information about animal fighting criminals to call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Tipsters' identities are protected. 

**Photos from the February 2012 raid on Bryant’s property are available by request. 

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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