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Eleven pit bulls being trained as fighting dogs were found Wednesday in a "filthy" Hewitt Avenue home that was filled with feces and elaborate dog fighting equipment, including a steel treadmill, weights and books.

On Thursday, the pit bulls were being held in the city's animal shelter and Buffalo police were looking for a man and woman who lived in the house.

At least three of the dogs suffered various injuries such as scratches and puncture wounds. Police said one of them had been forced to wear a chain around its neck that was so heavy and tight that the dog's skin was marked and infected.

"It was filthy -- just awful," Lt. Danny Williams said. "They were wounded, scratched, scarred up and sewn up."

"I've never seen anything like it," he added. "They had a steel treadmill, weights, chains, and needles for doing some sort of drugging to the animals and there were books on how to train fighting dogs and how to breed them. It was gruesome."

A neighbor calling police about 11 a.m. Wednesday said pit bulls were loose at 104 Hewitt, a single-family home near Parkridge and Comstock avenues.

Northeast District Police discovered four pit bulls tied in the backyard, six dogs in the basement and one in the bathroom.

Williams said the treadmill appeared homemade and was constructed from steel, with a conveyer belt and wooden slats.

Buffalo police and dog control officers removed the dogs from the home. Police said the dogs' owners face charges.


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