NBA Player Investigated for Dog Fighting

Police and humane society officials are investigating animal cruelty and dog fighting allegations against Portland Trail Blazer forward Qyntel Woods, who allegedly dumped a battle-scarred pit bull on a Portland street earlier this month.

The Trail Blazers announced Tuesday that Woods had been suspended without pay, pending the team's own investigation into the allegations.

"We are deeply disturbed by the developments in this case and we believe that suspending Qyntel is warranted and necessary," Trail Blazers President Steve Patterson said in a statement.

Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies and Oregon Humane Society officials executed a search warrant at Woods' Lake Oswego home on Monday, while the NBA player was working out with the team at the Trail Blazers' practice facility in Tualatin. A half-dozen pit bulls were removed from the home last week, a police source told ABC News affiliate KATU in Portland.

Shortly after investigators entered Woods' residence Monday, they removed evidence and dug up disturbed areas of the back yard looking for dog remains and evidence of dog fights being held on the property, investigators said.

"We gathered enough evidence to establish probable cause to believe that there was the crime of dog fighting or participation in the crime of dog fighting at the home of Qyntel Woods," Oregon Humane Society Lt. Randy Covey told "However, we're not sure where the evidence may lead us."

The 23-year-old forward, who has averaged 3.1 points per game in his two years in the NBA, has denied doing anything wrong.

Woods is being investigated by several law enforcement and animal protection agencies for three different alleged actions, all of which could -- if the evidence warrants -- lead to criminal charges.

If it is determined that he abandoned a 2-year-old female pit bull in northeast Portland on Oct. 2, as officials at Multnomah County Animal Control -- the agency with jurisdiction in Portland -- have been told he did, he could end up facing animal abuse and neglect charges.

If it is found that he bought pit bulls to use them in fights, he could face federal charges.

If evidence is found at Woods' home that shows he used his property for organized fights, he could face a felony dog fighting charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $120,000 in fines.

'I Just Decided to Get Rid of It'

The gold-colored dog was found with fresh puncture wounds, scars and bruises on her chest, belly and legs, according to investigators. The rescue worker caring for the dog said some of the wounds were sealed with tar, which she said was a common treatment used by dog fighters.

When KATU News asked Woods about the dog on Oct. 4, he said he has never fought pit bulls and said he was giving the animal away.

"I was going to breed it with my other dog, but they didn't take, so I just decided to get rid of it," he said. "I know this guy and I took my dog over there. And he saw my dog and he wanted it. So I gave it to him."

Woods has since denied that the wounded dog found abandoned in Portland is his. However, Gabby Cholak of K-9 Rescue, the animal rescuer who was called to pick up the dog, says witnesses told her they had seen Woods leaving the animal, who they said he called "Hollywood," in an alley.

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