Suspected Dogfighter Must Pay over $13,000 for Pit Bull Care
CHARLOTTE, NC - Dogfighting suspect Lefonze Williams wanted his dogs back, saying he could take care of them better and at a lower cost than CMPD.
But a judge wasn't going to allow him to do that.
Williams left the Mecklenburg County Courthouse disappointed.
"I don't agree with the decision, especially the amount for monthly care - $13,000? I mean what would they feed them? Steaks every day? It's.. I don't understand it," he says.
26 adult pit bulls and eight puppies were seized from Williams property in February.
"Sayin' the city's largest bust? How is it a bust when we stood outside the house five hours waitin' on a warrant? So what did they bust me doin'? Nothin!" he says.
Prosecutors argue Williams was breeding and training pit bulls for fights.
Police found weighted collars.. treadmills with paw prints.. and two dead puppies in the yard.
Williams and his attorney argue he was only breeding them.
"I am a dog breeder. And that's all. OK, yeah, some of the dogs had scars, and if that was the case, some of the dogs came to me like that," Williams explains.
There's new legislation in the North Carolina house that could improve conditions for dogs.
It would require large-scale breeders to provide fresh food and water.. vet care.. and exercise for the dogs.
"If somebody does have more than 10 females, pit bulls, then they would still have to comply with the guidelines that are being presented in this legislation," explains Shelly Moore, President of the Humane Society of Charlotte.
New rules advocates hope will help prevent cases like this one.
As the puppies get older, the cost to feed and take care of them will go up.
Next month, a judge will decide if Williams will have to pay more as well.
If Williams isn't able to pay the $13,000, the dogs will be forfeited to Animal Care and Control.
If that happens, they will be made available for adoption.
Those that aren't adopted will be euthanized.