Forty-seven dogs were saved after police and ASPCA workers busted a Bronx dog-fighting ring from the basement of a Bronx apartment building yesterday. Building super Raul Sanchez, 57, is accused of being the ringleader of the operation, and has been arrested on animal fighting and cruelty charges. “It’s pretty horrific inside — horrible conditions. I couldn’t even describe it,” NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Favale told reporters. “The dogs appear to be in various stages of abuse and injury.”

The bust happened at 1254 Sherman Avenue, a six-story apartment building in the Bronx. Altogether, 47 pit bulls ranging in age from 12 weeks to five years were rescued. The ASPCA said they were living in a windowless basement, which included a makeshift arena with estimated capacity for 100 spectators. Among the items confiscated included dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes, and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Howard Lawrence, senior director of operations for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department. “The dogs we saw today exhibited scarring and injuries consistent with fighting dogs. The ASPCA is determined to protect New York City's animals from this form of cruelty.”

They also said that some of the dogs had never even been outside before: "Those white marks on their faces, those are all scars," Lawrence added. "They may not have seen the light of day, perhaps even since they were born."