Cattle farmer’s brutal dog fighting ring exposed
RSPCA investigators discovered a sprawling and sophisticated dog fighting facility during a raid on a North Queensland property, which led to a Richmond cattle farmer being jailed.
Bradd Michael O'Keeffe, 41, will be eligible for parole in two months after RSPCA inspectors executed a warrant at O'Keeffe's Mount Norman Station on April 19, 2018, finding 19 American Pit Bull Terrier cross dogs tethered to heavy chains.
The married father will also be banned from possessing dogs of dog fighting breeds, or cross breeds, for life after pleading to two dog fighting charges in Richmond Magistrates Court today.
Inspectors discovered items including a mobile phone with contact details for other organised dog fighting, dog fighting DVDs and pedigrees for organised dog fighting dogs.
Other items found included photographs, USBs, hard drives and documents related to organised dog fighting, a large container of grey powder called Big Dog SuperCell (mineral supplement) and a treadmill, cat mill and spring pole.
O'Keeffe, who initially denied any involvement in organised dog fighting, told inspectors the dogs were bred and used for pig hunting, and that the mills and spring pole were used to condition the dogs for hunting.
He said he had no time to hunt as he was busy managing the cattle station, and the conditioning equipment had not been used in a long time.
According to the statement of facts handed up in court, the 19 American Pit Bull cross type dogs were seized, but one was highly aggressive and was euthanised.
The remaining dogs were transported to RSPCA Wacol Animal Care Campus for veterinary examination and treatment, and eight of the dogs had scarring consistent with organised dog fighting.
Six of the dogs had heavy hookworm infestations, three of the dogs were timid and unsocialised, and five of the dogs were underweight but not emaciated, and did not require feeding plans.
Seven of the dogs suffered various other minor conditions requiring treatment, including skin conditions, small wounds and infections.
Apart from the jail term, O'Keeffe will also be banned from possessing dogs of dog fighting breeds, or cross breeds, for life.