Alleged dog fighting operation broken up in Portsmouth


In a previous version of this story, we reported the man under investigation had multiple registrations from the American Dog Breeders Association and that those registrations were part of a list of items seized that were consistent with dog fighting. Those registrations should not have been included as evidence of the suspected crime. The American Dog Breeders Association has no connection to the alleged dog fighting and does not condone any illegal activity. WAVY-TV apologizes for the error.  

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth police are investigating an alleged dog fighting operation broken up last Thursday. 

The man at the center of the investigation is 64-year-old Leonard Madison.

He faces multiple gun charges, including possession of a concealed weapon by a convicted felon after police found a gun in his minivan the same night and place as the dog investigation. 

Court documents reveal officials went to the home off Bold Street onThursday night to do a follow up check on city dog licenses and rabies vaccinations.

They say the resident gave them the required paperwork and let an officer see the dogs in the back yard.

The search warrant says an officer saw at least 10 pit bull-type dogs tied with heavy chains and separated from one another.

Paperwork says during a search they found several dogs in kennels with feces, trash, debris and empty containers.

Ultimately, the owner surrendered 33 dogs, a number neighbors are shocked to hear. 

“You could hear them barking all the time, but it really didn’t sound like it was that many dogs?” said Larita Spartely, who works out of a home across the street. 

Madison is not facing any dog fighting-related charges at this time. 

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