Animal Control Official Admits Aiding Dog Fighting Ring

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Northwest Indiana animal control official admitted Friday to providing veterinary drugs to a leader of a Chicago dog-fighting ring.

Martin Jakubowski, the acting superintendent of animal control and parks for the city of Whiting, pleaded guilty Friday to diverting prescription antibiotics that were the property of the city’s animal shelter, to a resident of Chicago whom he knew to be involved in dog fighting activities.

Jakubowski, 48, of Whiting, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by introducing a prescription veterinary drug into interstate commerce without the lawful written or oral order of a licensed veterinarian.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 17.

“This prosecution further demonstrates our commitment to end unlawful animal fighting and to bring to justice those who unlawfully participate in this criminality,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Officials said Jakubowski oversaw Whiting’s animal control program and animal shelter. While acting in that role, he gave prescription veterinary antibiotics to Pedro Cuellar to drug his dogs.

Cuellar recently pleaded guilty to a federal dog fighting conspiracy charge in the District of New Jersey. The drugs had been purchased by the city animal shelter and were intended to treat two sick shelter cats.

Jakubowski also admitted that at various times between approximately 2011 and 2016, he housed dogs for Cuellar in buildings used by the animal shelter. One of the dogs had scarring consistent with scars on dogs used in fights.

Jakubowski also gave two pit bull-type dogs from the city’s animal shelter to Cuellar without standard adoption paperwork, knowing that Cuellar intended to transfer the dogs to other people.

Jakubowski also admitted to his own prior involvement in a “roll” dog fight in 2004.

A “roll” is a dog fight staged for the purpose of assessing the fighting characteristics of a dog or dogs, rather than for wagering purposes, and is generally stopped by the handlers before serious injuries result.

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