WASHINGTON - A caiman and 12 dogs suspected of being used for dogfighting were seized from a Southeast D.C. home after police conducted two search warrants of the property. The 86-year-old homeowner spoke with FOX 5 and told us that the animals all belonged to his son.
“I got a call that a lot of police were around my place,” said Osie Jackson Sr.
On back-to-back days, D.C. police and officers with the Humane Rescue Alliance were at Jackson’s home.
On Wednesday, officers first discovered a 5-foot-long caiman in the basement.
“I didn't know nothing about a gator down here until I got back here,” Jackson said.
The 86-year-old had been out of the city for months, but his son and daughter were staying at his home. He said he returned back home this past weekend.
“I don't know how long it had been down there because I have been gone since December,” he said.
The Humane Rescue Alliance said they received a tip that there was an alligator in the house, which led to the search. However, when they were at Jackson's home, they made another discovery.
“We discovered that there was alleged dogfighting paraphernalia in the house and we received another search warrant [Thursday] morning and executed it,” said David Smith of the Humane Rescue Alliance.
They found six adult dogs and six puppies. One of them was a Rottweiler while the rest were pit bulls. Officers said they showed signs and scars consistent with dogfighting and chronic neglect.
“I knew he had dogs back there, but I didn't know he had all of these little puppies,” said Jackson.
When we asked him if he knew if the dogs were being used for dogfighting, Jackson told FOX 5, “If it was, I don't know. I can't say.”
Police said there have been no arrests or criminal charges with the exception of an animal control citation being issued because reptiles such as caimans are not allowed in D.C.
“I want people to know I don't know anything about this,” said Jackson. “I'm not to blame. It has hurt me that my children are involved. I have never been involved in nothing like this. I never have.”
The homeowner said his son is no longer staying with him at his home. He also said his son told him that he was planning to sell the caiman.
However, Jackson did not get any details from his son about the dogs.
The Humane Rescue Alliance said the caiman is in good condition and hopefully will be given to a rescue organization. The condition of the dogs remains unknown at this time.