Two Lehigh Acres men face dogfighting charges | News, Sports, Jobs

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno announces that two Lehigh Acres men are facing multiple counts of dogfighting or baiting. Lee County Pet Services veterinarians treated 16 dogs “kept in appalling conditions,” Marceno said at the press conference Thursday.

A father and son from Lehigh Acres have been charged with multiple counts of dogfighting or baiting, as well as animal cruelty.

Anthony Pew, 58, and Anthony Pew Jr., 30, were arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday night following an investigation that resulted in the removal of 16 dogs believed to have been used for dog fights.

“This case is unlike any other we have investigated,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said at a news conference Thursday. “This is the largest dogfighting case in recent Lee County history.”

On March 30, LCSO detectives arrived at West 9th Street in Lehigh Acres, where they found several dogs with “serious injuries and evidence of possible dogfights”, Marceno said. Marceno said their investigation at the first residence led them to a home on Aspen Avenue South in Lehigh Acres, Pew Jr., where law enforcement discovered “more of the same.”

“These dogs were kept in deplorable conditions, locked in cages filled with urine and excrement,” Marceno said. “Many were found malnourished and had open wounds.”

Marceno said that in each house, investigators found several pieces of equipment consistent with dogfighting.

Lee County Pet Services veterinarians have treated each rescued dog, and all are alive, though Marceno said many need constant medical attention. Those vets also confirmed injuries consistent with dog fighting, LSCO officials said.

“It makes me sick that we are still investigating these cases, and I will continue to dedicate all resources to the fight against animal cruelty,” Marceno said.

Marceno said that since the establishment of the LCSO Animal Cruelty Task Force in 2020, they have investigated 148 cases and arrested 26 people in connection with animal cruelty crimes.

Pew is charged with seven counts of dog or bait fighting, and one count of animal torture causing serious physical injury or death. Pew Jr. is charged with five counts of dogfighting or baiting. Both were released on bail. Pew was arrested by the LCSO in 2006 for dogfighting or baiting.

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Jennifer R. Strohm