Criminal organization prosecuted for organizing dog fights: report

Four suspects from Amersfoort and Zeist are being prosecuted for organizing at least five dog fights in Amersfoort, Soest and Emmen. In the summons against them, the Public Prosecution Service describe the four as a criminal organization, Nieuwsuur reports based on the summons.

The suspects are a 33-year-old woman, a 33-year-old man and a 35-year-old man from Amersfoort, and a 35-year-old man from Zeist. They will be tried in the court in Amsterdam on Monday. This is the first time in the Netherlands that someone is being prosecuted for organizing dog fights, which is illegal in the country, according to Nieuwsuur.

The summons states that the four suspects bred 26 dogs specifically for dog fighting. They cared for these animals themselves, treating their injuries with illegal medicines and a glue gun.

They were arrested in October 2016, after an anonymous tip about a dog fight at the female suspect's Amersfoort home. During raids against the four suspects, the police found 26 poorly cared for and emaciated dogs. All the dogs were confiscated. Sixteen of them had to be euthanized after an aggression test. 

The lawyer representing the female suspect, Rutger van Veen, told Nieuwsuur that there was indeed a dog fight in her bedroom and that she recorded it. "The fights arose more or less spontaneously, out of interest. She indeed made video recordings, but that was only for her own use, not for distribution or to earn money with. My client regrets it terribly", the lawyer said. According to the program, the lawyer also said that his client and the other suspects have since purchased new dogs.