Couple ran dog fighting ring in house with five kids, say Pa. cops

Shane Santiago (left) and Laura Acampora (right), of West Brandywine, Pa., are accused of operating a dog fighting ring in the house where they were raising five children.
CBS Philly via Chester County DA

(CBS) WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Shane Santiago and Laura Acampora, a West Brandywine couple, were arrested by Chester County, Pa. officials in a gruesome case of alleged cruelty involving dog fighting, CBS Philly reports.

Santiago and Acampora are being held on a series of charges that include endangering the welfare of children because, according to authorities, they were raising five children in their rented home while dog fighting was going on in the basement.

All the children are now in the custody of other family members, CBS Philly says.

Chester County DA Tom Hogan says the case first came to light after several dead pit bulls were found in the county over the past couple of months. Investigators say that is a sure sign of a dog fighting ring operating nearby, because the losing dogs usually end up dead.

Officials connected the case to Santiago, whose name initially surfaced in a drug investigation in Coatesville, when Santiago and Acampora were being evicted from their home in West Brandywine.

According to CBS Philly, police say they entered the couple's home and found a "house of horrors" that included blood-caked walls and carpets, a noose that had been used to hang a dog that had bitten one of the children, and electrical wires used to execute losing dogs.

Santiago and Acampora were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on a long list of charges stemming from the arrest.