A Kearneysville man was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Monday for running a pit bull fighting operation out of his home.
Steve Jennings was sentenced to three months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Gina Groh.
Upon his release, Jennings will have to serve three years of supervised probation. Conditions on his probation ban him from owning a dog or living where dogs are present.
Jennings was arrested June 25, 2015 after the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Jefferson County Animal Control executed a search warrant at his home at 4190 Bowers Road.
Twenty-one pit bulls and animal fighting paraphernalia were seized in the search. As a result, Jennings was charged with 14 felony counts of animal fighting.
All of the animals were treated by a veterinarian. Investigators said 14 of the dogs had scars consistent with fighting.
The case was used as a model to pass HR 4201 in the West Virginia Legislature.
Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty and other local delegates and senators worked hard on the bill, which increases the penalties for dog fighting and betting on fighting.
The bill also created a new penalty for bringing children to dog fights.