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11 Arrested, 367 Dogs Seized in Dog Fighting Crackdown! (VIDEO!!)

Animals  (tags: GoodNews, ASPCA, Asheville Humane Society, Jennifer Brehler, Angie Wilt, rescued, 367 dogs, wlos 13, video )

- 1763 days ago -
At special request of the ASPCA, Asheville Humane Society sent Jennifer Brehler, Vice President of Operations and Government Affairs, and Angie Wilt, Animal Compassion Network department director, to assist with evidence collection and animal removal.....

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Barb Knight (1688)
Monday August 26, 2013, 5:26 pm
Updated: Monday, August 26 2013, 07:35 PM EDT
MONTGOMERY, ALA. — The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and The Humane Society of the United States, at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted in seizing 367 dogs in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia in what is believed to be the second-largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.

At special request of the ASPCA, Asheville Humane Society sent Jennifer Brehler, Vice President of Operations and Government Affairs, and Angie Wilt, Animal Compassion Network department director, to assist with evidence collection and animal removal during the multi-site operation. Brehler and Wilt were escorted by the FBI to four different locations where they assisted the Field Investigation and Response team of the ASPCA.

After a three-year investigation initiated by the Auburn Police, 13 search warrants were executed Friday morning, Aug. 23, throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. Ten suspects were arrested and indicted on felony dog fighting charges. Federal and local officials also seized firearms and drugs, as well as more than $500,000 in cash from dog fighting gambling activities that took place over the course of the investigation. Remains of dead animals were also discovered on some properties where dogs were housed and allegedly fought. If convicted, defendants could face up to five years in prison, as well as fines and restitution.

“It was heartbreaking to see the devastating neglect and abuse of the 113 dog we encountered at the first site. The dogs were living in their own filth, infested with fleas, many without water in the unbearable, humid 90 plus degree heat,” said Brehler. “It was inspiring to see experienced and compassionate professionals from various agencies working collaboratively to free these dogs from their chains.”

This was Wilt’s first time responding to a large-scale animal rescue operation. “I was horrified to see these dogs chained and hurting but the rescue operation was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life knowing these dogs would no longer have to endure their pain and live in such deplorable conditions,” Wilt said. ASPCA and The HSUS responders helped manage the removal and transport of the dogs to temporary emergency shelters in undisclosed locations. Responders are also providing veterinary care and behavior enrichment to the dogs, which are estimated to range in age from just several days to 10-12 years. The ASPCA and The HSUS also assisted authorities with collecting forensic evidence to be submitted for prosecution.

Conditions of the dogs varied, but one ASPCA veterinarian commented on the large number of the dogs that appeared emaciated. In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90 degree heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the property. Some appeared to have no access to water at all, and many exhibited wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dog fighting. Makeshift, filthy dog houses—many improvised from plastic and metal barrels and others made of chipboard with rotting wood floors and rusted metal roofing—provided the only shelter in the sweltering heat and humidity. Some dogs pulled at chains and cables that were tethered to cinder blocks and car tires. A female dog did her best to tend to six puppies, just weeks old, with no food or water, in a pen littered with trash and feces.

“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. The ASPCA is extremely grateful to federal and local authorities who pursued this widespread investigation for so long, and we are happy to lend our assistance.”

“We are committing to eradicating dog fighting in every dark corner where it festers,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “This series of raids reminds every dogfighter that they are not beyond the law and their day of reckoning will come.”

Agencies assisting the ASPCA and The HSUS with the operation include: Florida State Animal Response Coalition and Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team (Bushnell, Fla.); University of Florida (Gainesville); Humane Society of South Mississippi (Gulfport); International Fund for Animal Welfare (Yarmouth Port, Mass.); Asheville Humane Society (Asheville, N.C.); Charleston Animal Society (Charleston, S.C.); Louisiana SPCA (New Orleans); American Humane Association (Washington, D.C.); Greater Birmingham Humane Society (Birmingham, Ala.); Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta, Ga.); PetSmart Charities (Phoenix, Ariz.); Code 3 Associates (Longmont, Colo.); and Montgomery Humane Society (Montgomery, Ala.).

Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additional illegal activities are often connected with dog fighting, such as drug and weapons violations. Earlier this year, the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act was reintroduced in the U.S. Congress, which would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and impose additional penalties for bringing a minor to a fight. The HSUS and ASPCA support legislation to strengthen the federal and state animal fighting statutes, and regularly assist local, state and federal authorities on dog fighting investigations and raids across the country.

In July 2009, the ASPCA and The HSUS, along with numerous federal and local agencies, participated in a multi-state dog fighting raid, the largest federal crackdown on dog fighting in U.S. history, resulting in the rescue of over 500 dogs. The eight-state raid, launched by federal and local agencies, spanned Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi and resulted in more than 100 arrests.

“Dog fighting is a horrific form of abuse and a highly organized crime that exploits animals for entertainment and financial gain,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “Thousands of others all over the country continue to endure unimaginable suffering and death just like this at the hands of dog fighters. We want to end it once and for all.”11 Arrested, 367 Dogs Seized, in Fighting Crackdown.


Sheila D (194)
Monday August 26, 2013, 5:28 pm
One down and many to go...hope everyone sees the wagging tails everywhere. Those dogs were so happy to get out of that place, as if they knew they were finally safe. Noted with thanks.

Pat B (356)
Monday August 26, 2013, 5:43 pm
“Today we ended the torture of hundreds of abused and neglected dogs,” said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA.
What wonderful news. So glad that they were rescued, after a 3 year investigation. It's a lucrative business, and the POS's who do this, make money, and don't care a darn about these poor babies. I hope they go to jail for a long, long time. There are Angels out there, aren't there? Thank you, Barb for this great story of rescue.


Pat B (356)
Monday August 26, 2013, 5:55 pm
I was just curious, in the article, it saying they believed this was the second largest dog fighting raid. I wondered as to which was the first, I thought it was Michael Vick's dogs. It wasn't. The first one (raid) was the Missouri 500, in July of 2009, in which nearly 500 pit bulls were rescued from dogfighting. WOW...absolutely, sadly horrible situations. Here's the link:

Pat B (356)
Monday August 26, 2013, 5:59 pm
OOps..just read ALL of your article, Barb, it mentions my comment in yours. Sorry.

Barb Knight (1688)
Monday August 26, 2013, 6:15 pm
You've gotten my note by now Pat so you know what my responce was...LOL

bev g (128)
Monday August 26, 2013, 6:18 pm
oh im so pleased happy they got them. sum justice

Gina Caracci (219)
Monday August 26, 2013, 7:05 pm
I am so happy they were rescued but I am so disgusted and angry right now at those POS that dare treat animals like that! That federal law being proposed isnt good enough...there needs to be a federal penalty for dog fightingiPERIOD. .the scum bags getting UP TO five years in prison and a measly fine is NOTHING..These bastards will use prison as a vacation while they sit with their friends and hatch new schemes for when they get out. They need to allow animal lovers to HAVE AT THEM..
One down at least and 200 doggies happy and wagging their happy tails!! bless their hearts and RIP to those who didnt make it. thx Barncat!

Angela Marshall (14)
Monday August 26, 2013, 7:18 pm
A la Michael Vick, a Virginian , my state by the way, dog torturer...was so ashamed when that all went down, to me he got off lightly, hope these amoebas with skin get worse...won't degrade animals by comparing the two!!!

. (1)
Monday August 26, 2013, 7:38 pm
Happy to know these dogs are safe now. Thanks Barb.

Barbara F (47)
Monday August 26, 2013, 8:35 pm
Noted! It's a start and I'm SO HAPPY about this, at least! NOW...I HOPE THIS IS THE FIRST OF MANY, MANY MORE! ON YOUR MARK, GET SET.....GO!
Thanks, Barb!

James Merit (144)
Monday August 26, 2013, 8:41 pm
Glad they're safe now!! Ty Barb.

Shawna S (45)
Monday August 26, 2013, 9:04 pm
Thank you Barb :")
May justice for theses animals be served!!

SusanAWAY A (219)
Monday August 26, 2013, 10:02 pm
Thanks for sharing this good news. Noted and shared.

zora b (85)
Monday August 26, 2013, 11:04 pm
Thank you BarbCat for this post and also for sending it to me. I am happy that the dogs are rescued.

Mariann Rannenberg (158)
Monday August 26, 2013, 11:26 pm
Thanks, Barb, I saw this on the news. So happy for those abused dogs. I hope they get good homes. Thanks for keeping me up on things.

Elize Labuschagne (181)
Monday August 26, 2013, 11:47 pm
This is so wonderful!! Gives you hope to carry on fighting for all the abused animals in the world!!!!

Ela V (85)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 12:36 am
i was impressed by ggma sheila d.'s comment... thanks charles m. for forwarding this.
thank you for this happy news, awaiting for many more like this to come.

Sarah clevenger (10)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 1:13 am
i hope these dogs get good homes, they deserve a happy ending.

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 1:37 am

Caroline S (78)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 1:50 am
These poor dogs are so happy....Heartbreaking.

Trina Hawkins (24)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 2:00 am
Noted ! Just Heart Breaking that these Poor dogs had to Suffer like this ! I was so upset seeing this on the news tonight that I was crying ! I HATE people who do this ! All these dogs want is LOVE ! Thank God they got Rescued ,now I Pray they All get Great homes and the Love and Care they Deserve !

. (0)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 2:08 am
𝕻𝖔𝖔𝖗 𝖆𝖓𝖎𝖒𝖆𝖑𝖘, 𝖍𝖔𝖕𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖞 𝖌𝖊𝖙 𝖌𝖔𝖔𝖉 𝖍𝖔𝖒𝖊𝖘!!! 𝕿𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖐𝖘 𝕭𝖆𝖗𝖇𝕮𝖆𝖙!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 2:34 am
Thrilled to see all these poor dogs outta that hell! But hopefully each POS responsible will get the max and still that won't be enough 4 the imaginable suffering they caused each innocent dog. Thanks Barb

Angelflowers D (85)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 2:55 am

Tanya W (65)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 3:17 am
Thank you Barb for the post and for the heads up on this disgusting abuse with the twist of a happy ending!! May all the doggies find their real forever homes with kind loving folk. May justice be bestowed on all who have unleashed such evil on such innocent animals - an eye for an eye - flog the bastards!!!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 3:29 am
The abusers should be put on a chain and let animal lovers have a go at them See how they like it Cowards thats what these people are Hope they get a severe punishment So glad the dogs have said goodbye to this torture and i pray that they get happy homes


Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 4:17 am
Why can't they get what they deserve?

Lisa W (143)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 4:25 am
I am glad that these horrible people were busted and I hope more across our nation are. I agree with the above posts and am really so sick and disgusted beyond words. I hope all these dogs are going to find the loving homes they deserve or peace in heaven if they do not make it. This really breaks my heart!!!

Lisa W (143)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 4:26 am
Thank you Barb!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 5:15 am

Crystal Hilts (1)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 5:21 am

LaurenBackSoon Kozen (173)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 6:15 am
Thanks for sharing this Great news. We still have ALOT of work to do to end this abuse of animals. This is a Great start!
Noted & Shared. Thanks for posting Barb.

Ruth C (87)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 6:23 am
I can just image what those poor dogs went through.

Dwain La'Brooy (331)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 7:19 am
•°o.O ɲ๏ţ€ď. ţhąɲЌ$ βąяβȼąţ! O.o°•

Dawn M (142)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 8:11 am
Thank you!

Sara P (54)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 9:02 am
Fantastic news Barb, I hope that for this poor creatures now start a new happy and long life!!!!!

Sandi C (98)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 9:42 am
thanks for this Barb.

Barbara K (60)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 9:45 am
Great news, Sweetie. Hoping they can shut them all down soon.

Frances D (133)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 9:57 am
Great news ... but I hope the courts DO convict and impost HEAVY sentences...

Christeen A (371)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 10:00 am
This is wonderful. Thank you to all involved.

Gina Caracci (219)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 10:16 am
oops! Sorry! I meant thanks Barbcat not

Michelle Torello (20)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 10:21 am
I couldn't even finish reading this article because it made me so sad to read how these dogs were treated. I'm just glad they don't have to suffer anymore. thanks to all who were involved with these great efforts in saving them!! You truly are amazing

Suzanne L (99)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 10:26 am
Thanks for sharing Barb. Glad those poor dogs are out of there.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 11:31 am
Thank you, Barb & Others .

S J (130)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 1:58 pm
So glad to hear they are out of hell. I hope those get involve will be punished heavily and our friends can find forever home soon.

Thanks Barb. I can't watch the video, however.

Sandra ;atterson (59)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 3:22 pm
I'm so relieved,just pray they all go to good homes.Noted and shared Barb ! Thanks :)

cynthia l (207)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 3:36 pm
I've been snorting fire over this story. Wy, why did it take 3 years? I can only imagine the terror and abuse during that time and it makes my soul cringe.
I'm glad this ring was busted and pray with all my being they are justly punished. Please let theses guys find a loving, nurturing home

Sergio Padilla (65)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 3:50 pm

B Lewenza (76)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 4:47 pm
OMG. They are only going to face up to 5 years. No way 5 years is not enough, they have evidence of dead dogs on the properties. They should serve 5 years for each dog they find. I am so glad that they saved all these other dogs. Sad sad sad

Ellen Gaston (21)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 4:59 pm
Thank goodness for this. But for the law to pass, it must be loophole free. Too many punk-ass politicians, judges and law enforcers use the excuse "the law is too broad to pass muster," either to pass the bill or to prosecute and punish under the law. And I am sick of it. They pass feel-good legislation to make themselves look good knowing it won't do a damn thing in the real world to stop these slimeballs. Look how long it took to shut this filthy operation down. Why? Ask the useless politicians who wrote the watered down laws. It should take five minutes to ascertain that something is a dogfighting ring and that it is illegal. The resources wasted because of the copious, daunting and duplicitous amount of proof required to get these criminals to (sort of) pay for their crimes is unconscionable. Thanks to the Humane Societies, the FBI and all who worked so hard. I am grateful.

Evelyn M (38)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 5:01 pm
This is certainly good news to hear. I'm glad they were caught. I hope they will be strongly punished for this crime. They ought to make an example out of these bad people and really give them a punishment.
Thanks Brb for this info.

Laurie S (73)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 5:16 pm
Great news & great to post!!

Mary R (280)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 5:27 pm

Gina Caracci (219)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 5:45 pm
I thought the same as Cynthia..during a 3 year investigation, these and so many other doggies suffered...
Im with Ellen too on the BS laws and loopholes!

Karen B (8)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 6:04 pm
Awesome Possum.!!

Michael Carney (217)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 7:42 pm
Noted...Glad these Dogs are now safe...I just wish I had a say in what happens to the human garbage responsible for this...Needless to say If I was in charge the scum responsible would just be put to Death, that's what they deserve, Life is hard enough, we don't need those human Devils walking among us, we need them dead!!!

Laurie H (817)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 9:54 pm
This was a giant step forward, I'm so happy these dogs will have hopefully all have their lives back now. I would expect punishment to fit this sickening crime. As of now, the laws are far from where they need to be---this is a big problem in itself. So much suffering at the hands of monsters, passing themselves off as HUMAN BEINGS!~ Thanks so much Barb!!!~

Laurie H (817)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 9:56 pm
PS= Many Thanks to Charmaine for sending over!!~

Lydia S (155)
Tuesday August 27, 2013, 10:20 pm
Thank you Barb , Often I wonder if these awful people ever get caught ,
Truly I pray & hope that justice is served .

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 1:14 am
Thank you Barb. What good news they got them now they need to give them prison time. Noted

Danuta W (1250)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 3:05 am

P A (117)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 7:58 am
I agree with Cynthia B - why did it take 3 years? Thank the Lord they are away from that hellhole - but are they really safe now?

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 9:53 am
It says the video is no longer there! :-( Thanks Barb!!

Tanya G (14)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 9:55 am
the link doesn't work anymore...thank you for the update =)

Svetlana B (20)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 1:28 pm
Noted. Thanks Barb.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 1:38 pm
Thank you for the good news! I'm grateful to know that all of those dogs were rescued. I hope the sentences are stiff for those involved.

Melania Padilla (122)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 3:40 pm
Great! How can people enjoy dogs fighting to dead? So stupid!!

Buffy F (93)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 6:30 am
The link didn´t work for me, but I am glad these animals were saved. Hope they will find new homes, because BSL is still out there and is making life difficult for these animals.

Salvador M (141)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 1:25 pm
Yes, I saw this on the news, right on!

cathie S (154)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 11:51 pm
noted and shared thank you

Lisa Zarafonetis (168)
Friday August 30, 2013, 1:41 am
Couldn't watch video but so glad the update is good news.

Carmen S (611)
Friday August 30, 2013, 4:07 pm
Thanks Barb for the good news.

Sun c (95)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 2:50 pm
thank you for sharing Bcat! Let's catch more of them!

. (0)
Monday September 2, 2013, 9:57 am
beautifull news thanks a lot Barb and also to my many friends for the fw

Gloria picchetti (304)
Monday September 2, 2013, 2:19 pm
Poor dogs but I am happy they are resuced.

Sandi C (98)
Monday September 2, 2013, 6:22 pm
thanks for sharing. that's great news!

Nancy Black (308)
Monday September 2, 2013, 10:54 pm
Noted, tweeted, shared.

deb s (145)
Tuesday September 3, 2013, 4:56 pm
This is a BIG win for the animal rights and a good step for for their fate

Winnie A (179)
Wednesday September 4, 2013, 7:07 am
It's a start but we have to keep this up to stop all of them.
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