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Bronx Man Accused Of Using 47 Pit Bulls In Basement Dog Fighting Ring

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police arrested a Bronx man on animal cruelty charges Thursday in connection with an alleged dog fighting ring involving pit bulls.

Authorities seized 47 dogs, including puppies, from the basement of the Sherman Avenue apartment building, where they allege several of the pups were being trained to fight, the New York City ASPCA confirmed to 1010 WINS.

Raul Sanchez was arrested and inside the building authorities recovered a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 crude wooden cages, multiple pet carriers, dog treadmills, harnesses and muzzles, syringes, cash and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

Police said the basement featured a makeshift arena with estimated capacity for 100 spectators.

The pit bulls -- ranging in age from 12 weeks to 5 years -- had various injuries indicative of dog fighting, authorities said.

Police said despite pre-existing scars and visible wounds, all the dogs were responsive and in good condition.

Howard Lawrence, of the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement Department said his organization would perform a full medical evaluation on the dogs.

"Once they've been vetted medically, we take them to a shelter where additional medical tests will be done and behavior assessments on all the animals," Lawrence said.

Officials also said it may be some time before the dogs are ready for adoption.

"I think we're getting ahead of ourselves with that," Lawrence told 1010 WINS. "Let's just see how they are, just get them medically sound, do behavior assessment and we'll take it from there."

The NYPD also said the investigation is ongoing.

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