• by: Animal Lovers
  • recipient: Humane Society of the United States
Case ID: 19383/Incident Date:  Feb. 28, 2012

A Jacksonville man has been charged with 17 counts of possessing dogs used for animal fighting in a joint investigation by the Humane Society and police.

Willie B. Coleman, 69, was arrested and the animals were confiscated Wednesday at Coleman's Kennels, operated from a home at 9215 Norfolk Blvd.

At least some of the rescued dogs have scarring and injuries, including mutilated faces. The dogs ranged in age from juveniles to adults.

"Some had pretty extensive injuries," said Chris Schindler, who oversees animal fighting investigations for the Humane Society of the United States and was at the kennel.

All of the dogs were American pit bull terriers, Schindler said.

The case has been under investigation for more than a year, he said.

Because of a danger they could be stolen, the Humane Society will not reveal where the dogs will be taken, though they will most likely be moved out of Florida. They will be evaluated by animal behavior experts to determine whether they can be adopted.

Dogs with a reputation for winning less than a handful of fights can fetch $5,000 or more, Schindler said.

The single-family house where the kennel is located is surrounded by fencing, including a street-front chain link fence topped with three strands of barbed wire. One dog was in the front yard and others were chained or in wooden enclosures behind the house when investigators served a search warrant, Schindler said.

"You wouldn't have been able to see them from the road," he said.

Kimberly Kelly has lived behind Coleman for four years. She said Coleman stayed to himself and that there was never an issue of animals escaping.

"When I'd leave for work, he'd be out there feeding them and cleaning," she said. "They bark early in the morning. Other than that I don't hear anything."

Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states. The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved in illegal animal fighting.

Call 1-877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787) to report animal fighting. You will remain anonymous.
This monster must be punished to the full extent of the law for this senseless inhumane treatment of these poor innocent dogs. I can't think of a punishment severe enough!
Would you please see that this signed petition is delivered to the proper prosecuting authorities.
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