CLINTON, Mo. – Prosecutors in Henry County filed felony dog fighting have filed charges against John P. Dulley, 49, of Kansas City, Mo. They allege that Dulley owned 12 dogs that were used in a multi-state dog fighting ring that spanned Missouri, Kansas and Texas. He is said to have been involved in dog fighting since 1998.
On March 24, 2013 the ASPCA assisted the Henry County Sheriff’s Office in seizing 12 dogs from an abandoned farmstead located at 228 S.W. Highway K in Montrose, Mo. Investigators with the Missouri Highway Patrol said that the farmstead is Dulley’s mother’s property.
"I don't believe the house is even inhabitable," said Richard Shields, Henry County prosecuting attorney. "It's an old farmhouse with an old house and some outbuildings."
Shields said the mistreatment of dogs could not be easily seen from the road, but that people living in the area would hear dogs barking.
"From what I understood the dogs were not being cared for on a daily basis," Shields said. "It was only sporadic someone was there to check on them, so their water [bowls] were empty or you could see green algae growing in them."
Shields added there was evidence that indicated the dogs were mistreated.
"They were contained on chains, log chains," he said. "I didn't know much about dog fighting until this case came along and got quite an education, but that's one of the things they do to physically condition the animals -- is they're dragging around a log chain in a small area and anywhere they move they're dragging 20-30 feet of log chain."
According to the probable cause, Dulley admitted to being a dog fighter and his phone records show that he has been in contact with other dog fighters. Dulley told investigators that when he travels to Montrose from Kansas City he uses different routes so people don’t know where he’s going so they cannot steal his dogs.
Back at the farmstead, in addition to the 12 mistreated dogs, investigators also found three deceased canines, an adult male and two puppies.
The 12 dogs that were recovered alive were scarred and three had their teeth filed down flat. Those three were said to be used to train younger dogs to fight with confidence. The ASPCA currently has custody and care of the dogs.
Dulley faces four years in prison for each count of dog fighting, if proven guilty he may spend up to 48 years in jail. Investigators said the Dulley may face more charges. He is currently in the Jackson County Detention Center and being held on $10,000 bond.