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Veterinarian testifies about injuries animals sustained in alleged dog fighting ring

| Thursday, April 18, 2013, 6:15 p.m.

A veterinarian on Thursday identified dozens of scars, broken teeth and patches of hair missing on 13 dogs rescued from an alleged dog-fighting ring in Wilkinsburg.

“When I first saw them, they were scared,” said Dr. Ann Cirillo, a veterinarian at Seven Fields Veterinarian Hospital who examined the animals the night they were removed from Darryl Bryant's house.

After the examinations were over, Cirillo said, “they were kissing us all on the face. ... They were wonderful dogs.”

Bryant, 49, is charged with two counts of animal fighting and one count of possessing an instrument of crime. His trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Thomas E. Flaherty began on Thursday.

Cirillo identified scars on almost all of the dogs, most of which were pit bull-terrier mixes between 5 months and 5 years old. She said their injuries were not consistent with normal play.

Police raided Bryant's home on Bessica Street on Feb. 24, 2012, to find the dogs caged in the basement. Police discovered spatters of dried dog blood and equipment used to condition dogs for fighting, including a treadmill and bite sticks. They found medical supplies for treating injuries.

Bryant's attorney, Samir Sarna, said the evidence does not add up to a dog-fighting operation. He declined to comment further.

Flaherty scolded Bryant after a lunch break for having reportedly approached a juror at a Downtown McDonald's. Flaherty said if Bryant does it again, he'll revoke Bryant's bond.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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