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Dog-Fighting Ring Busted; 17 Dogs Rescued

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Photo courtesy L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies office

Photo courtesy L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies office
A dog-fighting training center, complete with surgical equipment, treadmills, a portable fighting ring with dried blood on the posts and more than a dozen pit bulls was shut down by L.A. County sheriffs deputies in the Antelope Valley Wednesday.The owners of the home in Lake Los Angeles, Jesse Jimenez, 43, and his wife, Yvette Jimenez, 41, were arrested during the early morning raid and about an ounce of cocaine was recovered, according to police. The couple was booked in Lancaster for investigation of dog fighting and possession of cocaine and are due in court Friday.

The couple's four children, ages 1, 10, 12 and 14, were placed with child protective services.

"It's unbelievable at times that people can do this to animals who are defenseless," Evelina Villa, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, told AOL News. "It's a very unfortunate situation, we hate to see scenarios like this where people use animals for sport or fight."

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L.A. Sheriff's deputies coordinated the raid over the past month, after a tip left on the LA County 24-hour Dog Fighting Hotline was passed on to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

A conviction for felony animal cruelty can result in a sentence of up to 3 years in prison.

The LA County 24-hour Dog Fighting Tipline (877-NO2FITE or 877-662-3483) was launched in November 2009 and is funded in part by the Humane Society of the U.S. Up to $5,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest or conviction of people engaging in the training or fighting of dogs. The identity of callers will remain confidential.