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Father and son arrested on animal cruelty charges expected in Lee County court

Lehigh Acres dogfighting arrest
Posted at 8:34 AM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 09:23:29-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A father and son arrested for running what the Lee County Sheriff called the largest dogfighting ring in county history will face a judge late next month.

Anthony Pew Sr. and Anthony Pew Jr. are scheduled to make an appearance in a Lee County courtroom June 22.

Deputies arrested the pair in early April after evidence was found at two Lehigh Acres homes. The sheriff’s office says several pieces of equipment were found. Equipment that included treadmills deputies say were used to train the dogs.

A total of 16 dogs were rescued from those homes. These dogs were locked in cages with many of them malnourished. The sheriff’s office says several pieces of equipment were found at both locations with veterinarians saying they are consistent with dogfighting and baiting.

At the time of the arrest, Sheriff Carmine Marceno said this investigation is far from over.

"This investigation could go in any direction," said Sheriff Marceno. "There might be other homes that we’re looking at right now, other quote ‘people’ that we’re looking at right now but we’ve seen the evidence not only thru the injuries with the dogs but the treadmills, the cages, the actions of the dogs.”

The dogs rescued are being treated are currently going thru rehabilitation. The sheriff’s office says the animal cruelty task force has investigated 148 cases, arresting 26 people related to those crimes since it launched in 2020.