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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 20 February 2001 Issue:

GOOD NEWS:
Man Gets Jail Time For Hosting Dog Fights
By Steven Hepker

A Tompkins Township man will spend at least 45 days in jail for hosting a dog fight in his barn last summer.

Donald M. Borgula, 27, was among seven people charged in the June 4 incident on rural Onondaga Road.

"I'm sorry for what happened," Borgula told Circuit Judge Edward Grant before he sentenced him to the maximum term, 90 days in jail.

Grant said he would serve half the sentence immediately, and the rest would be temporarily suspended.

Assistant Prosecutor Nick Mehalco argued for jail time.

"The sport of dog fighting really is no sport at all," Mehalco said. "It is vicious, cruel and bloody."

Jackson County Animal Control seized 15 pit pulls and eventually killed them. Once dogs are taught to be aggressive, they will fight to the death, Officer Kimberlee Luce said.

A passer-by reported suspicious behavior at Borgula's property.  Jackson County sheriff's deputies responded the night of June 4 and saw two dogs fighting in a pit in the barn.

Only Borgula will see jail time.  The others, all from other states, pleaded to misdemeanors and paid fines because officials could not prove they actually attended the fight.

Borgula also was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and was assessed $675 in court costs, a $2,000 fine and $255 restitution to the county animal shelter.

He will be on probation for five years.

Reach reporter Steven Hepker at shepker@citpat.com   or 616-768-4923.

Return to Animals in Print 20 Feb 2001 Issue

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