Man arrested on animal cruelty charges for running dog fighting ring
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A Golden Gate man was arrested on multiple animal cruelty charges after a month-long investigation into a dog fighting ring at his home.
Rafael Jesus Del Valle Jomarron, 40, turned himself in at the Naples Jail Center late Friday afternoon, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives said Del Valle Jomarron is a convicted felon who ran an organized dog fighting ring at his home located at 2136 52nd Lane.
“These innocent animals endured repeated torturous abuse, suffering, and pain,” Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.
CCSO started their investigation on June 9 after deputies learned of a possible animal abuse situation at Del Valle Jomarron’s home. Investigators confirmed they found multiple dogs in metal cages in the backyard of the home, and the dogs had injuries in various stages of healing. Deputies said they appeared malnourished, scared, and stressed.
Multiple roosters were also found with injuries and lost feathers, CCSO confirmed.
An above-ground pool filled with sawdust appeared to be a baiting device typical of the kind used in animal fighting. Collier County detectives said there were numerous dog tie-outs with thick harness ropes in the middle of the yard.
Detectives said they searched and seized six female bull terriers, one female hound dog, two male bull terriers, and a rooster that had severe injuries to its chest and back. Three of the females were pregnant, and one of them had a deep gaping cut to its chest.
The search also turned up vials of suspected anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing supplements for animals, CCSO confirmed.
ASPCA forensic scientists brought their mobile lab on June 10 from Gainesville to Collier County Domestic Animal Services where the animals were sheltered, cared for, and medically treated. CCSO investigators said a forensic veterinarian examined the dogs and found numerous wounds and scarring on all of them consistent with organized dog fighting.
One of the dogs, a black and white 3-year-old male bull terrier had 249 scars and wounds, while a 3-year-old female bull terrier had 109 scars and wounds, according to CCSO.
CCSO arrest report for Del Valle Jomarron said the current injuries were suspected to have been inflicted seven to 10 days prior to their exams on the animals.
NBC2 spoke with Del Valle Jomarron after nine dogs and one rooster were first removed from his home after reports of the animal fighting ring. He claimed all his dogs were in good health and took our crews inside his home.
“They say I’m an assassin but all my dogs are in condition and in good health,” Del Valle Jomarron said. He told NBC2 he is a registered dog breeder and the dogs were his pets.
SEE THE EXCLUSIVE LOOK INSIDE THE HOME:
The rooster, initially thought to be so severe he was going to be euthanized, is in pain and suffering, CCSO said. His injuries are suspected to have occurred days prior to his exam. He is currently being treated at DAS.
ASPCA behavior scientists also examined the dogs and determined the animals were consistent with other dog fighting cases they had assessed, according to the report. CCSO is in the process of filing paperwork to legally seize the dogs. The animals will remain in the custody and care of Collier County Domestic Animal Services.
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