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AG Nessel Announces Partnership with Michigan Humane to Prosecute Animal Abuse Cases

DETROIT – Today, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a partnership with Michigan Humane to investigate and prosecute cases of animal abuse. 

Nessel was joined by Michigan Humane President and CEO Matt Pepper to detail the Department of Attorney General and Michigan Humane in Detroit working together to prosecute crimes against animals.  Large-scale, multi-jurisdictional, well-organized fighting rings and similar operations require exceptional resources for investigation and prosecution and the Department will provide support and resources to Michigan Humane and its agents in pursuit of perpetrators.

The Attorney General and Michigan Humane announced charges against Kevin Lewis Warren, 52, of River Rouge. Warren is accused of running an organized dog fighting ring. The Department and Michigan Humane allege Warren used Facebook accounts to post videos and pictures of animals for dog fights, and to communicate about breeding, selling, and fighting dogs. Warren was arraigned before Judge David J. Zelenak of Wayne County’s 25th District Court on the following charges:

  • Three counts of animal fighting, a four-year-felony and/or $5,000-$50,000 and/or 500-1,000 hours of community service;
  • One count of possessing fighting animals/equipment, a four-year-felony and/or $1,000-$5,000 and/or 250-500 hours of community service.

Each charge also carries with it a prohibition on possessing or owning an animal for five years.

“I know most Michiganders think of their pets as family members and subjecting those family members to abuse is incomprehensible,” said Nessel. “Animal abuse is cruel and sadistic. It is also a crime that is often associated with other serious criminal activity, including domestic violence, illegal possession of firearms, illegal gambling, drug possession and large-scale animal abuse and fighting rings. I am proud to partner with Michigan Humane to prosecute these offenders.”

“Animal cruelty isn’t an animal issue. It is a human issue. The partnership between Michigan Humane and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office will strengthen our ability to address animal cruelty towards creating healthier and safer communities for everyone,” said Michigan Humane President and CEO Matt Pepper. 

Nessel previously partnered with Michigan Humane to raise awareness regarding puppy scams following a surge in complaints of internet scammers during the pandemic.

Warren’s probable cause hearing is scheduled for October 25 at 9 a.m. via Zoom and a tentative preliminary exam date is set for November 1 at noon.

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General's office does not provide booking photos.