Friday, December 30, 2016

Maryland: Pit bull breeders Calvin Dove Jr, 55, and his son Calvin Dove III, 24, charged with animal cruelty

MARYLAND -- A father and son reportedly operating a pit bull breeding operation from a modest-sized home are accused of subjecting their animals to deplorable and unsafe living conditions.

Calvin Dove Jr., 55, and Calvin Dove III, 24, both of the 12500 block of Deoudes Road in Boyds, are now facing twelve combined criminal counts of animal cruelty.

On November 14, Dove III’s sister reported to police that a vicious dogfight at the family home had left one dog severely injured. An animal services officer responded to the two-story home. Dove’s sister allowed the officer inside. That officer immediately smelled a pungent odor of animal waste within the residence.

Upon entering the living room, the officer saw a pit bull coated in feces. Three other pit bulls were found individually caged in an adjacent room. Those dogs and the room were also covered in animal fecal matter.

The following day, the animal services officer visited the Banfield Pet Hospital in Germantown – roughly a mile away. Dr. Elizabeth Care said Dove III brought a dead pit bull, named “Oprah”, into the veterinarian clinic the previous afternoon. The dog had injuries indicative of an attack, Dr. Care told police.

On November 16, a number of police officers served a search warrant on the Dove home. In addition to finding pit bulls caged on the first floor, officers found more crated in the basement and in wooden outdoor pens located in the backyard. Some of the dogs were tethered by chain and collar. Dove III later showed officers where Oprah’s corpse was located. Police transported the dog’s remains to the Animal Services and Adoption Center in Derwood.

In total, police seized eleven live pit bulls, dog paraphernalia and a three-ring binder holding dog-related records. Baggies of suspected marijuana and digital scales were also located inside the Dove home.

Because of the stench, smeared feces and overall clutter, the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs condemned the Dove home. It’s since been deemed habitable again.

“The conditions inside the house were unsanitary and not suitable for the number of animals in there," said Jack Breckenridge, Montgomery County's head animal cruelty investigator. “You need to maintain the environment for your animals in a sanitary fashion so that it doesn’t foster diseases or illness among the animals.”

The Dove home, according to multiple neighbors, has long been a nuisance property – dogs barking, loud late night gatherings, and motorcycles racing up-and-down the street. Neighbors say there is a sense of relief now that police have dismantled the what neighbors believe to be a breeding operation.

ABC7 also spoke with a man who identified himself as Dove Jr. He stated that police distorted the facts and argued that he and his son would prove their innocence in court. Upon speaking with his attorney, the man declined further comment.

Dove Jr. and Dove III will return to Montgomery County District Court on January 12 at 8 a.m. for a preliminary hearing. Dove Jr. faces up to 90 days in prison and $1,000 in fines. Dove III faces up to four years in prison and $11,000 in fines.

“If you know somebody living in a mess with pets, you need to report it because events like this could be prevented and we can also get the person or the animals the help they need to correct the situation," Breckenridge concluded.

(WJLA - Dec 29, 2016)

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