I-TEAM: Cleveland man investigated for dog fighting speaks out

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CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM went one-on-one with a man suddenly at the heart of a dog fighting investigation after what witnesses saw and videotaped in his back yard.

Nick Taylor said, "I have four children. I would never ever have dog fighting. Never allowed it."

The I-TEAM revealed earlier Cleveland Police and animal control officers recently swarmed Taylor’s property seizing three pit bulls.

Police had gotten a 911 call reporting, "They have two pit bulls that are attacking another dog. And the owner's just watching.”

But Taylor said he had not been watching the dogs fight. He told the I-TEAM, “And that's all false."

He added, "I'm devastated, my wife's devastated, my kids are devastated."

Taylor provided pictures showing his dogs had gotten along. He said he’s not sure what led to a vicious attack. Two dogs jumped on a smaller dog who was nearly blind.

At the same time, Taylor admits he could understand how people might think there had been some kind of organized dog fighting. He said, "Oh Yeah. I could definitely understand it. You come up and see bloody dogs.”

Animal Control officers took the dogs to the city kennel. Meantime, as the investigation began, Taylor said he gave up his rights to the dogs.

Later, he had second thoughts about that. But, he says, by the time he reconsidered, the dogs had been put to sleep.

Taylor is preparing to defend himself in court, if necessary.

He said, "If I get a criminal charge, I have to fight it.  If I'm innocent, I'm gonna fight."

Taylor said he’s even received threats on social media over this.

Cleveland Police have taken the lead on the case. The Animal Protective League has also had discussions about it. The APL said, in cases like this, investigators have to determine was there a simple dog fight or organized dog fighting.  The APL said, its not uncommon to get calls from citizens about situations like this. Investigators would always rather get a call to take a look to determine what’s really happening.

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