South Holland man convicted of running major dog-fighting operation
BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK Sun-Times Media email@example.com November 9, 2011 1:20PM
Updated: December 13, 2011 8:31AM
A South Holland man was convicted Wednesday on dozens of charges for running a sophisticated dog-fighting ring out of his home.
Cook County Judge Brian K. Flaherty found Kevin Taylor guilty of dozens of counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and owning or breeding fighting dogs.
Flaherty announced his verdicts after taking several months to consider the case after a bench trial at the Markham courthouse earlier this year.
Cook County sheriff’s officers in July 2007 rescued 37 dogs from a soundproofed chicken coop behind Taylor’s home in the 15900 block of South Cottage Grove. Officials at the time called it the largest seizure of animals in state history and the fourth-largest on record in the United States.
Along with the dogs officers found treadmills, weights and methamphetamines in a barn and a separate room where a female dog was kept for breeding.
Investigators aren’t sure if fights took place at the house, but Taylor was an active ringleader on the dog-fighting circuit, Sheriff Tom Dart said at the time. He had two prior convictions related to dog-fighting.
In addition to breeding fighting dogs, authorities said, Taylor rented out others for matches, raking in hundreds of dollars each time.