Man faces dogfighting, animal cruelty charges

Man faces dogfighting, animal cruelty charges
Source: Baker Police Department
Source: Baker Police Department
Source: Baker Police Department
Source: Baker Police Department

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - Officials said a dog attack resulted in a man being arrested on dog fighting and animal cruelty charges.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Prison reported Yusef Chew, 47, of Baker, was booked Monday.

"We heard the sounds of the puppies just crying out in pain when he would have them," said Justin Haskell, one of Chew's neighbors on Greenwood Road.

On October 6, Haskell said he called the Baker Police Department after seeing two of Chew's 15 pit bulls attack one another. Officers and animal control arrived shortly after.

"A younger dog, which had broken away from where he was tethered, or chained, ran over and got within range of a much older and larger dog and he was subsequently killed," said Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn.

Police said it all took place in the backyard of Chew's home. Their report went on to say that some of the dogs were malnourished and branded with the letter "C" on their hips.

Officers also said they found what they believe is a dog fighting ring and a treadmill used to train the animals.  Animal Control had to put down the other 14 dogs.

For Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn, this arrest was personal.

"It's heartbreaking. I myself worked K-9 for 13 years. So I rode with a dog for 13 years so to me a dog was my riding partner, like every bit of a human being," Dunn said.

This was not the first time Chew has been arrested for dog fighting. Officials reported Chew was arrested in 2003 on charges of dog fighting and cruelty to animals, but the case was dismissed.

Haskell, who has lived next to Chew for seven years, said his dogs have been an ongoing problem, constantly breaking off their chains and disturbing neighbors. He said Chew even started growing bushes around his yard so no one could see inside.

Haskell said he is disgusted by his neighbor's alleged actions.

"I don't like it. I mean, most people would agree that dogs don't deserve to live like that," Haskell said.

Chew is being held in prison on a $32,500 bond.

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