Windsor

Man pleads guilty to animal cruelty for role in suspected dog fighting ring

Robert Tomlin was sentenced to four months of house arrest after pleading guilty to one count of causing pain to dogs. He faces a lifetime ban from owning animals and will be on probation for two years.

Robert Tomlin, 33, faces a lifetime ban from owning animals

A Chatham, Ont. ordered the Ontario SPCA — which had applied to destroy 18 alleged fighting dogs similar to the one in this file photo — to send the animals to a special facility called Dogs Playing for Life in Florida. (Shutterstock)

A Kent Bridge man charged with animal cruelty in connection with a suspected dog fighting ring in Chatham-Kent will never be able to own another pet.

Robert Tomlin was sentenced to four months of house arrest after pleading guilty to one count of causing pain to dogs. 

He faces a lifetime ban from owning animals and will be on probation for two years.

"Animal cruelty is taken very seriously in Ontario and the accused is being held accountable for his actions," said Jennifer Bluhm, Deputy Chief Inspector for the Ontario SPCA. "Dogfighting is a serious crime and we are pleased to see the courts recognize this."

Chatham-Kent police and Ontario SPCA seized 40 'fighting dogs' and firearms from this home in Fletcher, Ont. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Tomlin was charged after an investigation led by Chatham-Kent police and the OSPCA discovered the alleged animal abuse at a home on Morris Line in near Tilbury in October 2015.

The case against other two people believed to be involved in the suspected animal abuse is ongoing.

Eighteen dogs seized during the raids were facing a potential death sentence, but in July a deal was reached to send them to be rehabilitated at special facility in Florida called Dogs Playing for Life.

Dog fighting a 'heinous blood sport'

Bluhm said dog fighting continues to happen across the province and asked people to contact her organization if they suspect animals are being harmed.

"It is a heinous blood sport that we have urged the public to be on the lookout for to help us end dog fighting because it is animal cruelty at its worst."