2 Face animal cruelty charges after dog-fighting ring busted in Phoenix

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Jesus Fernandez and Felisha Fierro By Jennifer Thomas Jesus Fernandez and Felisha Fierro By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Animal cruelty detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office arrested two suspects following an investigation into an illegal dog-fighting ring in Phoenix.

Detectives reportedly received information in September and began to investigate allegations of animal cruelty.

On Wednesday, deputies executed a search warrant on a home near Fourth Avenue and Dobbins Road in relation to an illegal dog-fighting/training operation. They recovered 11 pit bulls, marijuana and various devices that were used to restrain, alienate and strengthen the dogs for the purpose of fighting.

Jesus Fernandez, 36, and Felisha Fierro, 35, were arrested and charged with keeping or training animals to engage in exhibition to fight another animal and causing animals to fight for amusement, both felonies.

"This goes beyond animal cruelty; this is depravity at its worst," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a news release.

All 11 dogs were transported to the sheriff's MASH Unit as evidence where they will temporarily be cared for by female inmates.