Ulysses C. "Jack" Amos and Shrmar "Marvin" Birdsong

Promoting dog fighting and animal cruelty

Massillon, OH

Jan. 12, 2002

Shrmar “Marvin” Birdsong

Keeping dogs for the purpose of dog fighting

Massillon, OH

Fall, 2001

Shrmar “Marvin Birdsong

Neglect, keeping fighting dogs

Massillon, OH

Feb. 4, 2002

Police found pit bull dogs and their puppies in cramped cages in a basement living in their own filth at the home of Ulysses Amos, age 64, of 1416 Walnut Rd. SE.  The dogs had no food, no water, and were standing in their own fecal waste.  Amos' wife admitted they had run out of food and had no food in their house for the animals.

A small fire on January 12th at Amos' house opened the house to city firefighters who photographed what they found -- a dozen pit bulls, six of them puppies, locked in cages, syringes and bottles of medication.  Amos also had a homemade treadmill used to exercise the dogs.   A week later Amos was arrested for dog fighting, a felony, along with animal cruelty and other misdemeanor charges.

Police took 2 puppies, 1 young male and 3 females from Amos' basement.  But now missing are 6 puppies and 2 male pit bulls that the firefighters saw in the Amos basement the day of the fire.  The dogs had scars from bites consistent with dog fighting.

In addition to a felony charge, Amos faces misdemeanor counts of confinement or restraint of a dog, cruelty to animals, not having rabies vaccinations for the dogs and not registering the dogs.  He is also charged under a city ordinance for illegal sale of a pit bull.  Amos pleaded not guilty to the almost 10 charges, including animal cruelty.

Amos was held in the Massillon City Jail on $7,750 bond.

Birdsong, age 18, a Washington High School student, of 1202 16th St. SE is charged with dog fighting, a felony and misdemeanor counts of not having liability insurance for confining and restraining dogs, cruelty to animals, not having rabies vaccinations and no do registration.

Birdsong along with another teenage boy had been issued a warning in the fall of 2001 by the animal control officer for keeping pit bulls in a garage at 17 16th St. SE.  A few weeks later, the officer returned to check on the animals and found they had been moved.  2 days after Amos's arrest, the police found out what happened to Birdsongs dogs.

A real estate agent trying to clean up the house at 1117 16th St. SE heard dogs whining.  He walked behind the house to a wooded area and found a kennel with a dog penned inside.  A pit bull was chained to a small doghouse.  The police were called and in the dark behind insulation and tarps the dog was found with serious injuries to her right leg.  Shovels and rakes leaned against the kennel.  Several old chairs circled a pit, like grandstands around a stadium.  They also found a scale used to weight dogs, old broomsticks used to force a pit bull's jaws open, harnesses, heavy chains and medication. Birdsong arrived as the police were cleaning up the area and begged the officers to give him the dog inside the kennel and to leave his things alone.  The wooded area is only a short distance from Amos' house

On February 4th 2002, Birdsong was arrested for dog fighting, animal cruelty and other charges.  As it turned out Birdsong and Amos were distant cousins, but Birdsong refers to Amos as "Uncle Jack".  He was released on a $7,500 recognizance bond following his initial hearing.

At court Birdsong claimed he didn't actually own the dog found in the kennel behind the 16th St. SE house.  Lisa Bentley who had lived in the house, testified that Birdsong, her nephew, and his brother kept 5 dogs in cages at the garage - a 6th dog was used as a guard dog.  She further testified that Birdsong and Amos took a dog to Chicago and participated in dogfights there.

In April 2002, a Stark County grand jury indicted Amos and Birdsong on misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and failing to get liability insurance, but not on the felony level dog-fighting charges.

Investigators couldn't prove the dogs were being trained to fight, an element necessary for the more serious felony charge.  Being penned together could have caused the injuries found on the dogs.  The insurance charge stems from an Ohio law requiring owners of pit bulls and other vicious dogs to carry $100,000 in insurance.

References:

The Canton Repository

19/43 News