CLEVELAND - A Cleveland man accused of running an illegal dogfighting ring turned himself into Cleveland police Tuesday.
Police said Collin Rand, accompanied by his lawyer, turned himself in at the Central Prison Unit in the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland shortly after 9 a.m.
Cleveland police spokesperson Jennifer Ciaccia told NewsChannel5's Scott Newell, "He's being held for felony dog fighting." Police said it's a fourth-degree felony with a maximum jail term of 18 months and maximum fine of $5,000.
Police said Rand also had a contempt of court warrant out for him for a traffic violation.
According to police, Rand kept 27 dogs in a house on E. 91st Street, which witnesses described as filthy dirty with blood on the walls. The dogs were taken from the house December 22.
The animals are now resting in the City of Cleveland Kennel. Workers said the dogs were extremely hungry when they were first brought in. Many had scars and other physical problems.
The people at the kennel said the dogs are friendly around humans but not around other dogs.
Much of their fate depends on how the legal system chooses to treat them. But kennel volunteer Lauren Sammon hopes all of these dogs will eventually be adopted.
"We hope they get the recognition that they deserve and that they find rescues or safe foster homes," Sammon said. "We're going to need sponsorship for them, for their medical care as well as their spays as neuters. We hope that we can watch them heal and the people that did this to them are held responsible."
The volunteers have a Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/ClevelandCitykennel ). As soon as the legal hurdles are cleared, they hope to post more information about these dogs on that page along with information on how you might be able to help them or adopt them.