Worst dogfighting case since ’09, prosecutor says

Dayton woman faces dogfighting, cruelty charges.

DAYTON — The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office this week approved criminal charges against a Dayton woman who allegedly ran a dogfighting training and breeding operation out of a home in the city.

Prosecutors have authorized charging Michelle Orrender, 35, with felony counts of dogfighting and possession of criminal tools, and a misdemeanor count of cruelty to a companion animal.

On April 7, Dayton police served a search warrant on a home on the 2100 block of Litchfield Avenue after receiving a tip that it was the site of a dogfighting enterprise, according to authorities.

Detectives found 18 dogs at the home, including 17 pit bulls, some of which had been injured or had their ears cut with scissors, according to a police report. Police found also a treadmill with pawprints on it, blood spatters on the walls, a parting stick, chewed tires, medications and syringes and an arena in the basement.

“I look at this operation as a breeding and training situation,” said Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.

Orrender relinquished ownership of the pit bulls, and they were euthanized in accordance with county policy, which prohibits adoption of dogs considered “vicious” under Ohio law, such as pit bulls, Kumpf said.

Kumpf, who participated in the search of Orrender’s home, said one of the saddest parts about dogfighting is that to avoid detection from veterinarians, dog owners will perform home surgery and fail to get the medical treatment the injured animals desperately need.

“You see some of the worst animal cruelty in these types of cases because the folks deliberately avoid going to vets and they attempt operations by themselves,” he said. “It just results in some real horrible stuff that happens to the animals, and they just don’t deserve that.”

Greg Flannagan, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said this appears to be the first case of dogfighting his office has handled since 2009. The office handled two cases in 2009, two in 2008, 18 in 2007 and 21 in 2006.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-0749.

About the Author