Modified: February 11, 2016 3:26pm
Erie County Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announced that 53 year-old Edward “Boo” Bishop of 104 Hewitt Street, Buffalo, was found guilty of felony Animal Fighting, after a non-jury trial in Erie County Court. This was the highest charge Bishop faced at trial.
The Court learned that on April 25, 2014, Buffalo Police Officers and Agents for the Erie County SPCA executed a search warrant at Bishop’s home after receiving a tip from a confidential informant that Bishop was training pit bulls for dogfighting. Seven pit bull dogs, with varying degrees of scarring, were located. Animal fighting paraphernalia and dogfighting literature including a training manual for dogfighting were recovered in Bishop’s home.
Expert witness Dr. Helene Chevalier, DVM, Head Veterinarian of the Erie County SPCA, gave her expert opinion that the injuries to four of the dogs came from organized animal fighting. Terry Mills, Director of the Blood Sports Division for the ASPCA, educated the court regarding dogfighting and gave his expert opinion that the training of pit bulls for dogfighting was occurring in Bishop’s basement.
This was not Bishop’s first dogfighting conviction; in 2010, Bishop pleaded guilty in Federal Court to Sponsoring an Animal in an Animal Fighting Venture.
Flaherty offered special credit to Detectives Earl Perrin and Kevin Biggs of the Buffalo Police Department. “There are not many crimes more revolting than those involving the senseless cruelty to animals”. Flaherty offered “I am grateful for the work of the Buffalo Police Department and the SPCA in bringing the defendant to justice”. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nathanael C. Kapperman who is assigned to the Felony Trial Bureau and Justin T. Wallens, Chief of Animal Cruelty Unit.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 4, 2016 when Bishop could receive the maximum prison sentence of 4 years in state prison.