Crime

Two men arrested on dogfighting charges in Tampa dog abuse case

TAMPA -- Dogfighting charges have been filed against two men in the Tampa case of a dog found shot and tied to railroad tracks.The charges come after two teen boys were arrested and charged with abusing the dog.

According to Tampa police, officers received a tip that there was video of the teen suspects walking the dog to the tracks. Investigating officers recognized one of the suspects in the video and that led to a confession and an arrest.

The teen boys, both 17, have been charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Both also face trespassing charges for being on CSX railroad property. Due to our crime guidelines, Bay News 9 is not naming the teens because they are not charged as adults.

On Thursday, authorities arrested two men in connection with the case. Darnell Devlin, 18, and Kenny Bell, 21, were arrested and each charged with two counts of possession of a dog for fighting.

The charges came after police investigators and Hillsborough County Animal Services conducted a search warrant at the home where Cabella lived before the shooting. Officials said evidence of dogfighting was found in the backyard of the home.

According to authorities, Devlin and Bell admitted to owning two more dogs in addition to Cabella. Animal Services took possession of the dogs.Officers had been investigating for about a week after the 2-year-old mixed breed pit bull was found injured in Sulphur Springs.

The dog, named Cabella by officers, was shot twice in the neck and above the right shoulder but was alive. Two other officers worked to free Cabella from the railroad tracks and then rushed her to the Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Center.

Vets were able to save Cabela's front right leg with surgery and she is slowly recovering.

Police, meanwhile, say surveillance video, the public and good police work solved the case.

"Through our investigation we were able to identify two suspects," said TPD Detective Patrick Messmer. "Those suspects have been arrested. Those suspects did provide admissions and confessions admitting to their roles and those two people have been charged."

Officers said they may have a motive in the case.

"There was some indications that Cabella was actually purchased to engage in dog fighting," Messmer said. "And (she) was not a very good dog fighter so they wanted to get rid of her."

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