Maywood man charged with dog fighting, animal cruelty

A 70-year-old Maywood man was arrested Wednesday after authorities said they found six canines with dog fighting scars in his home.

Paul Wade, of the 1900 block of South 2nd Avenue, was charged with two counts of felony dog fighting, according to a statement from Chicago Police. He was also charged with six misdemeanors each of violating animal owner duties and cruelty to animals.

Ward was arrested about 10 a.m. Wednesday after authorities in a joint investigation by the Cook County sheriff’s office and the Chicago Police Animal Crimes Unit searched his house, police said.

The dogs have been impounded and are being cared for at Chicago Animal Care and Control, where they are waiting to be seen by a vet.

The raid on the Maywood home, conducted by Chicago police and Cook County Sheriff’s Police, was based on evidence of a dog fighting operation at the home. Along with at least five pit bulls, which were taken from an enclosure in the back yard, investigators also recovered equipment used to train and fight dogs.

It included a disassembled wooden enclosure, which a source says was a dog fighting ring. There was also artificial turf and a treadmill, something commonly used as part of training the dogs to fight.

The owner lived there about forty years, according to neighbor Randy Shears, who watched the police activity unfold from his porch across the street.

He was asked if he knew of any dog fighting activity at his neighbor’s home.

“No I ain’t never knowed nothing about none of that. If it did, I don’t know nothing about it,” Shears said.

Another neighbor took FOX 32 in his backyard and showed us where police were earlier. At first glance it appears to be a nice suburban yard, but behind another fence was a dirt covered area with an opening into what appeared to be a large enclosure for dogs, where the neighbor frequently heard barking.

What’s not clear is whether police suspect the dogs were being fought in back or inside the house where the noise associated with dog fights could be better concealed.

Other neighbors said they only knew the man who was arrested as someone who owned dogs, nothing more, and certainly nothing sinister.

“All I seen the guy doing is walking his dog, I never seen the dogs fighting or nothing like that,” said neighbor John Wilson.

Family members who came to the home declined to comment.

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