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Owner denies 12 seized dogs were used for dog fighting

RICHMOND, Va. – One of the 12 dogs seized from a South Richmond home needed to have a 32-centimeter collar surgically removed from its 38-centimeter neck, confirmed Sau Chan, an assistant prosecutor in the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Details about the condition of several dogs seized last week were revealed in court testimony given by a veterinarian with the city shelter and a dog-fighting expert.

Chan said that testimony indicated some of the animals had puncture wounds on their heads, muzzles, and front legs. Some of the animals also had scars and bloody tails.

The judge ordered forfeiture of the animals to Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), though defendant Carlton Hardy has 10 days to appeal the order. The animals were seized from Hardy, when the 51-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and charged with  possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He has not been charged with dog fighting, though more charges are pending, Richmond Police confirmed.

Carlton Hardy (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

Hardy was arrested at a home along the 1800 block of Ingram Avenue in South Richmond, after an officer spotted a skinny dog that might be ill or neglected, Chan said. The search warrant issued for his home was for one dog.

During the investigation, 12 dogs and several firearms were recovered. A stray dog not related to this case was also rescued, which is why the initial number of dogs reported seized was 13, Chan said.

Hardy maintains that he was not dog fighting the animals and that only nine of the dogs belonged to him. One neighbor insisted Hardy would never neglect his dogs.

However, testimony from a  dog-fighting expert said evidence was consistent with other dog fighting cases.

“The thing with these cases, is that they are court cases, so they (dogs) are going to be with us for a while,” said Christie Chipps-Peters, with RACC.  “So, we have 13 cages that are filled and will be filled until the case is over and that sometimes these cases stretch six to nine months.”

If you want to help Richmond Animal Care by adopting or fostering a pet to help them make room, they say please call the shelter at (804) 646-5575.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

Hardy returns to court March 20, according to the court records.