Man sentenced to 5-year active prison term in Portsmouth dog fighting case


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A man who was accused of dog fighting in Portsmouth in 2019 has been sentenced to a five-year active prison term.

According to online court records, Leonard Madison pleaded guilty Wednesday in Portsmouth Circuit Court to five counts of possessing, selling, training an animal for fighting and five counts of cruelty to animals.

He was sentenced to five years on each of the five animal fighting charges. All time was suspended. He was also sentenced to 12 months on each of the five cruelty to animals charges — none of that time was suspended.

Court records show 24 animal fighting charges were dropped, as well as 22 counts of cruelty to animals.

Officials went to a home off Bold Street in March 2019 to do a follow-up check on city dog licenses and rabies vaccinations.

Documents filed in court said an officer saw at least 10 pit bull-type dogs tied with heavy chains and separated from one another. It said officials found several dogs in kennels with feces, trash, debris and empty containers.

Ultimately, the owner surrendered 33 dogs.

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