Volusia County

3 men arrested, 40 dogs seized after Daytona Beach police bust dog fighting ring

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Three men were arrested and 40 dogs were seized after Daytona Beach police officials said they busted a dog fighting ring.

Police said they arrested Noble Geathers, 53, Earl Holmes, 50, and Benjamin Ponder, 33, all of Daytona Beach, after they found 42 pit bulls caged mostly outdoors on Reva Street.

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Investigators said they found 24 adult dogs and 18 puppies in small kennels made of wood and wire, car carriers or chained to car axles with little or no access to clean water or food.

Officers said many of the females were breeding new puppies for fighting.

Officers said several of the dogs were found with healing cuts or wounds on their bodies which are consistent with dog fighting.

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Investigators said they also found various kinds of dog supplements and medications, including a type of medicine which is commonly used in organized dog fighting to boost red cell production as well as stamina and endurance.

Police said all the puppies and adult pit bulls were removed from the care of the defendants and taken to Halifax Humane Society for safe keeping.

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There will be a court forfeiture hearing later this week, which investigators said could determine if the dogs will be returned to the defendants or if they will be awarded to the police department.

If that happens, Daytona Beach police said they would sign the dogs over to HHS in the hopes some could be adopted out in the future.

Geathers, Holmes and Ponder each face a long list of felony charges, including animal cruelty, animal fighting and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

Three Daytona Beach residents are arrested for running a dogfighting ring. Over 40 dogs were removed. MORE: https://www.codb.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1087

Posted by Daytona Beach Police Department on Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.