PHOENIX (Reuters) - Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies removed 12 distressed pit bulls from the Phoenix area home of rapper-turned-actor DMX in a raid that also found a number of firearms, police said on Friday.
Sheriffs’ office spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla said DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, 36, was not at home during the raid.
“We served an initial search warrant for animal neglect, and 12 pit bulls were removed,” Chagolla told Reuters by telephone.
“There are weapons in the home, and we are in the process of obtaining an amended warrant,” he added.
Chagolla said no arrests have been made in connection with the raid. He said an ongoing investigations at the home “would determine what charges may be bought and against and whom.”
Simmons has sold 20 million albums. The most recent, the “Year of the Dog ... Again” was brought out last year. The cover depicts DMX restraining a snarling pit bull on a chain.
He is best known as actor for appearances in films including “Romeo Must Die” and “Exit Wounds” in 2000 and 2001, has a long history of brushes with the law.
In 2002 he pleaded guilty in New Jersey for animal cruelty for neglecting 13 pit bulls, according to news reports. As part of his sentence he did a public service announcement against animal abuse.
Simmons’ representatives at the William Morris Agency in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment.
Chagolla said the dogs are now in the care of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He added that it had not determined if they had been involved in fighting activities.
The raid came as Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Michael Vick admitted guilt on Friday in a dogfighting case, prompting the National Football League to suspend the star player indefinitely.
Vick, 27, admitted in a plea agreement he took part in an illegal, interstate dogfighting enterprise known as “Bad Newz Kennels” from 2001 through April 2007.