D.C. man accused of training dogs to fight pleads to animal cruelty


Porter, a pit bull mix, suffered two broken legs, a displaced jaw and missing several teeth, after he was seen taken into a wooded area in Southeast Washington. (Photo courtesy Washington Human Society)

A District of Columbia man accused of training dogs to fight pleaded guilty Friday to animal cruelty and simple assault, authorities said.

Thirty-five-year-old Charles Palmer was arrested in December after a 20-month investigation in which police said he killed three dogs and dumped their bodies while training them to fight.

Charles Palmer

Charles Palmer

Two dogs that had been thrown away had been rescued, including one pit bull type named Porter, who was found with significant wounds, two broken femurs, a displaced jaw and missing several teeth. Porter survived.

Palmer faces up to 10 years in prison, according to D.C. officials.

“To see Porter’s story come full circle brings me immense satisfaction,” said Lisa LaFontaine, president of the Washington Humane Society. “It was one of the most horrific abuse cases my team had ever experienced, and it was gratifying to see Palmer stand up and claim responsibility for his actions.”

The investigation began in April 2012 after witnesses told police they saw Palmer beat a pit-bull type dog, slam the animal to the ground, take him into the woods, and exit the woods with the leash. Officers discovered the dog, now named Porter, two days later.

Another dog, Roxy, was rescued by WHS officers in June at Palmer’s home. Roxy had difficulty standing, and was found to have a broken front leg, broken rear femoral head, a broken toe, and two lacerations on her head.


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