Saturday, August 25, 2018

Fraud and pit bull advocacy. Who would have expected this?

The money train that funds pit bull advocacy leaves the station in New York state from the farm owned by Jane Berkey, and headquarters of the Animal Farm Foundation.

A couple of years ago the Berkey-owned and funded AFF began placing shelter pit bulls, trained by Universal K9, with under-funded police departments in cash-poor communities as single purpose drug detection "police dogs."  These dogs were free to the communities and came with large public relations promotions.

Research on the program and the dogs revealed extremely limited training, dangerously limited training.  The AFF bragged shamelessly about these single-purpose dogs but fraud hung over this enterprise like a dirty cloud.  Fast forward to recent developments.  The owner and operator of Universal K9, Brad Croft, trainer paid by the Animal Farm Foundation to train shelter pit bulls as police dogs, was raided by the FBI, the IRS, and local humane investigators.  Croft has been arrested and charged with fraud and other crimes.

Animals 24/7 has done an excellent post on this ugly situation.  The post begins with this quote.  "The pit bull advocacy organization Animal Farm Foundation,  of Bangal,  New York,  had already had a difficult week,  even before a federal grand jury in San Antonio,  Texas on August 23,  2018 returned an indictment against Bradley Croft,  46,  on eight counts of wire fraud,  four counts of aggravated identity theft,  and two counts of money laundering.
Croft was the trainer whom the Animal Farm Foundation funded from 2013 to 2017 to prepare pit bulls for police work.
Please read what has been written by Merritt Clifton and Beth Clifton on the Animals 24/7 website.  Here is a link. There are so many angles on this mess that it makes your head spin.

Communities still using dogs trained by Croft should be VERY concerned about legal liability.  Bred for blood-sport stray dogs obtained from shelters desperate to unload unplaceable pit bulls placed through a fraudulent training program?  What could go wrong?

Brad Croft

For those interested in more reading on this.  Click here.   And here.  And here.

A handler moves a dog to an Animal Care Services transportation vehicle Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at canine training facility Universal K9, 15329 Tradesman, near Loop 1604 on the Northwest Side, as an ACS officer walks behind the handler. State and federal authorities served a search warrant on the non-profit organization's facility early Wednesday morning and ACS took custody of 27 dogs from the facility as part of the raid. Photo: William Luther, Staff Photographer / Staff Photographer / © 2018 San Antonio Express-News

For more on the Animal Farm Foundation supplied and funded pit bull police dogs, here are photos of the dogs and their handlers plus a map of locations.   Handy. Lawyers for anyone injured by any of these dogs should find VERY deep pockets.  Suspect the page will not last long.  Get screenshots.