Updated 1/03/2011 at 10 p.m.
MAYWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – Seven people were arrested and two wounded pit bulls rescued by Cook County Sheriff’s police who raided a dogfight in progress in the west suburbs last week.
Last Thursday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Animal Crimes Unit was in the process of serving a search warrant for animal cruelty and neglect of owner’s duties involving a pit bull in Maywood.
While conducting surveillance on the residence, located on the 700 block of South 3rd Avenue in the west suburb, investigators observed a man entering the home with a different pit bull on a leash, and a number of additional people going into the home as well, a release from sheriff’s police said.
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Minutes later, sheriff’s police officers surrounded the home and executed the search warrant.
Inside, police came upon a dogfight in progress, with the two pit bulls locked in battle on the basement floor of the home. After being forcibly separated, workers from the Animal Welfare League removed the two dogs and took them to their facility in Chicago Ridge for immediate veterinary care.
“We didn’t enter a moment too soon,” cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told CBS 2’s Mike Parker. “The one dog, honestly, if we were five minutes later, that dog was dead.”
He says there was no betting going on.
“This was just their form of entertainment. They’re coming out there to watch a dog get killed,” Dart said.
In total, seven people were arrested at the house, according to the sheriff’s office. But only six have been charged.
Jonathan Holt, 28, of the 700 block of South 3rd Street in Maywood has been charged with dogfighting.
Tara Jackson, 19, and Ebony Jackson, 21, both of the 2000 block of South 13th Street in Maywood; Kevin Hicks, 25, of the 2700 block of West Maypole in Chicago; Aaliyah Jackson, 18, of the 500 block of South 5th Street in Maywood; and Andre Gaines, 24, of the 1900 block of 5th Street in Maywood all have been charged with attending a dogfight.
Gaines was also arrested on a Cook County warrant for weapons possession, aggravated assault and possession of a controlled substance, according to the release.
Bond has been set at $10,000 for Jonathan Holt, Ebony Jackson, Kevin Hicks, and Aaliyah Jackson, according to the sheriff’s office.
Tara Jackson received a $5,000 bond and Andre Gaines is being held without bond. The next court date for all six offenders is January 4 in Maywood.
Charges are pending for another man arrested at the dogfight who was hospitalized for an unrelated condition.
Dart says he wishes he had more troops to throw into the war on dog-fighting. His budget, he says, is too tight right now.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.