BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A pit bull belonging to a Buffalo Police employee accused of training her to fight has been found after disappearing from the Buffalo Animal Shelter in January.
Over the weekend, Ginja was located by an animal rescue group based out of Long Island, who offered a substantial reward for her return. Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, believes the pit bull was stolen by someone who has ties to Shanon Richardson, who is accused of training pit bulls, including Ginja to fight.
“We have numerous positive IDs. We were able to match up other things, too, such as facial scaring, signature marks of hers. We are very confident we have Ginja,” said animal advocate attorney and member of Ginja’s Gang, Matt Albert.
A Freedom of Information request from News 4 has uncovered past instances where Richardson has gotten in trouble for his pit bulls. Records from Lackawanna Police show in July 2006, one of his dogs charged at a police officer while running loose.
The report says the officer was nearly bitten and the dog had to be put down. The officer also noted there were two pit bull puppies tied to a cage that was surrounded by junk metal and debris. And two other pit bulls were staked to the ground with chains heavy enough to be cruel. The officer also states the dogs had no food, water or shelter from the hot sun.
Then, on July 7, 2006, Richardson was charged with failure to change ownership on four separate pit bulls for not licensing the dogs. And six days after that, Richardson reported that he no longer owned the four dogs.
Four years later, on June 11, 2012, police say they found five pit bulls on a vacant lot owned by Richardson. All five were seized three days after the complaint was made.
This past December, police found four malnourished pit bulls at Richardson’s home, along with fighting and training equipment. He has denied he was training the dogs to fight.
The dogs were seized, including Ginja. Now that she has been found, her new caretakers say, if necessary, they will bring her to court to provide evidence to convict Richardson on felony animal abuse charges.
A police investigation in Ginja’s disappearance continues.