‍ 120 dogs were found at a compound in Maurice River

‍ Two dogs were found dead in a pit on the property

‍ The dogs were tied to a moving ATV as part of their training

MAURICE RIVER — More than 120 fighting dogs, including two that were dead, were removed from a property that hosted what officials called the biggest dog fighting ring bust in New Jersey.

Attorney General Matt Platkin said agents from his office, State Police and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday executed search warrants and swooped into properties on Route 49 in Maurice River and two other locations in Atlantic and Cumberland counties. Eight people were arrested.

Members of the animal rescue team of the Humane Society of the United States evaluated and provided care for the tortured and abused dogs that were each placed in carriers. They were taken to an undisclosed location.

"We believe it is the largest dog fighting ring ever busted in the state of New Jersey," Platkin said at a press briefing Friday morning, adding that dog fighting is illegal in New Jersey for both participants and spectators.

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Dog being removed from the Royal Bull Kennels
Dog being removed from the Royal Bull Kennels (6 ABC Action News)

"Whatever hell these dogs endured I don't even dare to imagine"

Platkin said the evidence shows some of the dogs were strapped to ATVs that ran at 14 mph for long periods of time in order to prepare for their fights. According to affidavits in the case, the dogs were found chained to kennels and crates in a basement.

Dog fighting paraphernalia was found. A website was maintained with the "conditioned" weights for fights.

"Whatever hell these dogs endured I don't even dare to imagine," Platkin said. "I can't even fathom how anyone could hurt an animal so loving. Even these dogs, who certainly were not treated and loved as companion animals greeted the law enforcement officers and staff from the Humane Society with wagging tails."

Bruce “Hollywood” Low, Jr., 44, of Milmay, who runs the Royal Bull Kennel dog breeding business, was charged with using his construction business to launder money from the proceeds of illegal activity, according to Platkin.

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Royal Bull Kennel website
Royal Bull Kennel website (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)

Profiting from illegal activity

The affidavit in the arrest of Low promoted and discussed dogfighting on Facebook. He generated "a significant amount of income from the dog fighting including the sale of fighting/"game" dogs, stud fees and gambling winnings from the fights. His mother, Terri, deposited the funds into several bank accounts.

The others who were charged had discussed and promoted dogfighting in Facebook chat groups. They also posted graphic pictures of the fights.

Low told an undercover agent he held 61 "concerts," or dog fights, in 2023, according to the affidavit.

Low is also charged with:

    • Racketeering (2nd degree);
    • Conspiracy (2nd degree);
    • Misconduct by a Corporate Official (2nd degree);
    • Leader of a Dogfighting Network (2nd degree);
    • Promoting Organized Street Crime (2nd degree);
    • Dogfighting by possessing, keeping and/or training a dog for a fight (3rd degree);
    • Dogfighting for gambling on the outcome (3rd degree);
    • Possession of dogfighting paraphernalia (3rd degree);
    • Cruelty to Animals (4th degree);
    • Falsifying Records (4th degree);
    • Identity Theft (4th degree).

Also arrested and charged with racketeering, money laundering and a series of dogfighting charges:

  • Terri A. Low, 67, of Maurice River, Low's mother and alleged business partner
  • Bryce J. Low, 20, of Maurice River, son of Low, Jr. and dog handler
  • Roosevelt Hart IV, 29, of Milmay, son-in-law of Low, Jr. and alleged kennel partner in training
  • Coy Glenn Dickenson, 58, of Maurice River, dog trainer
  • Travis J. Garron, 38, of Port Elizabeth, dog trainer/handler
  • Mark A. Runkle, 42, of Maurice River, dog handler
  • William McClinton, 68, of Maurice River, dog breeder

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Kennels at the Royal Bull Kennel
Kennels at the Royal Bull Kennel (6 ABC Action News via YouTube)

How are the dogs doing?

Adam Parascandola, vice president of Animal Rescue Team, Humane Society of the United States, said the dogs are doing well overall and are being examined for old and untreated injuries.

"They are in a warm place, they all have comfortable bedding, they're getting toys, they're getting enrichment. It's very rewarding to see them come out of their shell and get excited just to spend time with people and get the attention they need," Parascandola said.

Platkin vowed justice on behalf of the dogs.

“Profiting from dogfighting is callous, brutal, and cruel,” Attorney General Matt Platkin said at a Friday morning press briefing.

“These animals are born into lives of abuse, suffering, and violence, culminating with hours-long fights and frequently these dogs’ slow and painful deaths. The alleged illegal activities that were uncovered by this investigation will not go unpunished.”

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