Over 300 dogs rescued in dogfighting raid - WFLA News Channel 8

Over 300 dogs rescued in dogfighting raid

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WFLA) -

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States have finished what they believed to be the second-largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history.

According to the ASPCA, after a three-year investigation started by the Auburn Police in Alabama, authorities executed search warrants in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. Law enforcement arrested 10 people on felony dogfighting charges.

Officers, ASPCA and HSUS personnel rescued 367 dogs. The societies' responders helped provide shelter and veterinary care for the dogs, ranging in age from just several days to 10-12 years in age.

Responders found dogs in different conditions - some were emaciated, tethered to heavy chains, some didn't have access to water or food. The dogs had fleas and fighting wounds, according to the ASPCA.

"Today we ended the torture of hundreds of abused and neglected dogs," said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA. "Never again will these dogs be forced to fight, live in squalor, or be neglected and deprived of the bare necessities."

ASPCA and HSUS thanked the United States Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who conducted the investigation and arrests.

If convicted, the arrested suspects may face up to five years in prison, and fines.

"These defendants were betting between $5,000 and $200,000 on one dog fight," said U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. "The number of dogs seized and the amount of money involved this in case shows how extensive this underworld of dog fighting is."

Officers also confiscated drugs, guns and over $500,000 in cash. Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

"This is a great example of federal, state, and local agencies working together to make communities safer," said Paul Register, Auburn Police Division Chief. 

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