Dogfight Suspect Speaks - Tucson News Now

Dogfight Suspect Speaks

By J.D. Wallace, KOLD News 13 Reporter

Only a day after raids around the county to stop a suspected dogfighting operation, Robert Smith, more often known as Bobby, was back out after his arrest.  He and five others are charged with dogfighting.

"There's no way these dogs have been fought," Smith said.  He admitted to fighting dogs when he was younger, but said that it was sparring instead of fighting to the death.  He said that now he treats them as a hobby, and that he is part of the All American Dog Registry.

"We're putting on dog shows all across the country and I've become quite a famous dog show judge," he said.

"This is something specifically for the dog fighting community," said Marsh Myers with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

He said that even pit bulls in good shape can be proof of dogfighting.

"Very often the animals are well taken care of, prior to the fight," Myers said.

"Their only objective is to kill this breed of dog and to make money off it," Smith said.

Smith said that he's a victim of a Humane Society fundraising strategy.

"The people are sending in the donations--here's 100 dollars, we'll stop this," Smith said.

"I'm not aware of any huge influx of money into our agency, although we are a nonprofit and we do have 20,000 animals a year we have to take care of," Myers said.

The court still must decide who gets the dogs as investigators continue to build their case against the suspects.

"Their actions are much louder than their words," Myers said.

"I just want my dogs back and live with me in peace like they have for all these years," Smith said.

Smith was a ticket seller at the Tucson Greyhound Park, but has been suspended until he is cleared of his charge of dogfighting.  Both he and the park said that Smith did not handle Greyhounds there.

Smith said that his dogs will be killed, but that decision also has yet to be made.  Investigators are still trying to determine if the pit bulls have been bred to be aggressive toward other animals, or have been trained that way.  If the latter, investigators said that the dogs could be rehabilitated; if the dogs are bred that way, investigators say euthanasia might be the only alternative.  The sheriff's department is working on getting the FBI, ATF and the USDA involved in hopes of including federal charges.

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