Bernardino Gomez III pled guilty in Judge Aquilina’s court room and will be sentenced in May. Ingham County animal control officers were assisting law enforcement agents on a separate complaint at Gomez’s residence when 28 pit bulls were discovered in cages in the basement of Gomez’s home where he lived with his wife and two children in April of 2008. Gomez claimed he was breeding the dogs for sale. The dogs were in poor condition and had multiple fighting scars on them. There were also items discovered directly related to dog fighting in the home. All 29 dogs were taken in to custody by ICAC where they were housed and cared for. Gomez eluded the police by fleeing the state. ICAC housed the dogs for over six months before the court gave final custody to ICAC.
A financial judgment in excess of $30,000 was placed against the wife of Gomez who was seeking to reclaim the dogs in Judge Aquilina’s court. Judge Aquilina placed a judgment against Jamie Gomez for the care of the animals in her husband’s absence as he fled the state. No money has been repaid by the Gomez’s to Ingham County for the care of the 28 dogs. Several of the dogs were re-homed but several of the dogs were extremely animal-aggressive and deemed too unsafe to be adopted.