13 dogs, puppy seized, 2 arrested after dog fighting investigation
William Stone ; March 2011 photo (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Blue Ash home that police executed a search warrant at on Wednesday
Michael Ellsworth (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
BLUE ASH, OH (FOX19) -
Two men have been arrested after complaints of dog fighting in Blue Ash. Police were tipped off by a concerned neighbor on Sunday and a search warrant was issued for a house in the 9700 block of Jefferson Avenue.
William Morton Stone Jr., 36, and Michael James Ellsworth, 22, have been charged with cruelty to animals, a first degree felony, and dog fighting offenses, a fourth degree felony.
Police found 13 pit bulls and a pit bull puppy on the property. Neighbors say they saw and heard multiple dogs for years on the property, but were never sure if they were used for fighting.
"I don't know that they'd be fighting per se or being trained to fight," says Lori Brown.
Brown lives near Stone and says the problem has been growing over the last three to five years. She is glad something is finally being done.
"I love the breed. It's all about how they're raised and I think what people do to them to make them fight I think it's an atrocity," says Brown.
Blue Ash Chief of Police Chris Wallace says as a former pit bull owner it was difficult to watch the dogs being taken out with scars and wounds from apparent fighting.
"I hate seeing dogs in this kind of condition especially this type of dog, my experience with them has been positive and it's kind of sickening. A lot of the dogs had scars on their facial and neck area which would be consistent with dogs that get into a fight," says Wallace.
Stone was arrested on felony charges for drug trafficking after police found multiple prescription pills inside the house including Oxycontin. The third adult was cited for a minor misdemeanor drug offense at the scene and released.
Stone and Ellsworth were transported to the Hamilton County Justice Center for booking.