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Old July 10th, 2004, 01:34 AM
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Exclamation Dog-fighting equipment found

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Dog-fighting equipment found

Warren cops: Chains, ring were in garage
July 9, 2004

BY NHIA LEE
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER






It was supposed to be a house party in Warren, or so a young woman thought.

She went to the house of boyfriend and girlfriend Dustin Kleiner and Christie Clore, both 18.

What she found shocked her.

As she later told police:

There was no music, only the sounds from about a dozen people. And there was no dancing.

Instead, there were dogs, fighting for their lives.

There were four pit bulls -- one had been severely injured -- and people were betting on which dog would come out on top.

Disgusted by what she saw, on May 27 the young woman, whom Warren police won't identify, reported the fighting, a move that launched a six-week investigation.

On Wednesday about 11:30 p.m., police went to the house of Kleiner and Clore and found five pit bulls, including two puppies. One of the adults had old and fresh wounds, police said.

The officers found "dogs sitting and standing in their own feces," said Warren Police Sgt. Louis Galasso.

Inside the garage, police found dog-fighting equipment.

"We found chains on short poles and a treadmill in the garage," Galasso said. "We also found large weights attached to the dog collars."

He said the equipment was used to build the dogs' stamina.

The walls were lined with mattresses to muffle the barks and growls, he said.

A 4-foot-by-4-foot wooden fighting ring also was found in the garage, said John Courie, Macomb County chief prosecutor.

Kleiner and Clore each were charged with three counts of animal cruelty: maintaining a place for animal fighting and possessing equipment to allow animals to fight, both felonies, and animal cruelty, a misdemeanor.

Clore also was charged with possession of marijuana.

Both were arraigned Thursday and are being held in lieu of $500,000 bond each. A preliminary examination is set for July 22.

The five dogs are at the Macomb County Animal Shelter, where they are being kept in separate kennels, said Sue Jeroue, chief animal director.

The injured pit bull was treated, Jeroue said.

This is the first dog-fighting situation that Galasso and Courie have encountered.

Jeroue, on the other hand, has seen plenty.

"How many?" she said. "I don't count. I don't need the statistic in my brain."




Contact NHIA LEE at 586-469-2681 or nlee@freepress.com.
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