Connecticut AG files for state custody of 7 pit bulls seized in Orange amid dogfighting ring investigation

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has filed for state custody of seven pit bulls recently seized in Orange - the latest development in a dogfighting ring investigation that spans multiple states.

News 12 Staff

Oct 21, 2021, 9:23 PM

Updated 944 days ago

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Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has filed for state custody of seven pit bulls recently seized in Orange - the latest development in a dogfighting ring investigation that spans multiple states.
New court documents show the dogs - named Vera, Angie, Zebra, Sypher, Mugshot, Horris and Lucy - suffered from ear and eye infections and malnutrition while living at 968 Grassy Hill Road.
They also had scars likely from bite wounds. State police found them in filthy conditions - tethered to their cages with short, thick chains.
Tong's court petition states, "Several of the dogs were observed to be visibly shaking when discovered in the cages."
"We're doing our best to rehabilitate these dogs, make sure they're healthy, make sure they're happy, and find a forever home for them," Tong says.
The filing also identifies the dogs' owner as Nathanial Sebastian Martinez. He has not been arrested, but state police say criminal charges are coming.
"They're putting their case together and then further action will be taken," says Tong.
The search in Orange came after a massive dogfighting ring bust in Long Island, New York over the summer. News 12 has learned investigators there found incriminating text messages between a defendant and Martinez.
Tong's petitions say a search of his home turned up a ledger detailing over 80 dogs' lineages and fight statistics. Investigators also confiscated dogfighting guides and magazines, collars used for aggression training, a weighted harness, a treadmill and veterinary supplies related to dogfighting.
"It's against the law, and we shouldn't do it, and we're going to prosecute people for mistreating animals," Tong says.
The Orange dogs have been in temporary state custody and are being cared for at Milford Animal Control. In July, state police also seized eight dogs in Meriden in connection to the interstate dogfighting ring.


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