Jaquan Jackson of Washington, DC, was arrested yesterday on a warrant obtained by Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) Humane Law Enforcement Officers and charged with felony animal fighting. Mr. Jackson turned himself in to the Metropolitan Police Department upon learning of the warrant. Other charges will be presented to a Grand Jury. Twelve dogs, and one American alligator were seized in the case.
“Organized dog fighting is barbaric,” said Lisa LaFontaine, President and CEO of HRA. “The pain and suffering these animals endured was excruciating and to think that it was all for entertainment is repulsive. I commend the diligence of our Field Services staff who pursued this case with vigor.”
On June 11, 2018, Officers responded to a call about a dog that was actively hanging itself from a chain. When the Officers arrived, they found the dog was deceased, hanging over the fence. The dog was also observed to have scarring around its muzzle and forelimbs, consistent with organized dog fighting.
In July, HRA received an anonymous tip that an American alligator was being housed at the same address. On July 25, 2018 a search warrant was executed by HRA Animal Control Officers and a five-foot alligator was found in the home, confined in a Rubbermaid plastic container in 3-4 inches of water. The alligator was too large for the container which forced its tail to curve almost completely around. During the search for the alligator, Officers observed paraphernalia associated with organized dog fighting. On July 26, HRA Humane Law Enforcement Officers executed a second warrant and seized over one hundred different items that were evidence of organized dog fighting, including a slat-mill used to condition dogs for fighting. Twelve dogs were also seized, four of which had scarring consistent with fighting. One of the four had to be immediately transported to an emergency hospital due to infected wounds on her front limbs. This dog required an amputation of one of her digits due to a fractured bone. She was also found with a canine tooth, from another dog, lodged in her leg
Multiple devices, including computers, phones, and tablets were found and seized. Another search warrant was obtained to examine these devices, and additional evidence discovered. Photos and videos of dogs being sicced on animals were discovered on several devices and depicted graphic images of animal cruelty. One of these videos depicted dogs mauling a young deer. Another video depicted a rabbit confined in a small room trying to escape an attacking dog. The person filming the video is seen encouraging the dog to attack the rabbit and preventing it from getting away. There was also a video of juvenile dogs being encouraged to fight each other.
The American alligator was later brought to a reptile conservation center where a master rehabilitator determined the alligator’s bone structure showed abnormal curvature of the lower jaw, stating that this can only be caused by chronic inadequate space. The dogs are currently in HRA’s care pending the outcome of the case.
Jackson was arraigned in Superior Court of the District of Columbia.