GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - Garden City police said they've uncovered a dog fighting operation.
They said pit bulls have been bred to fight on an empty lot off of Big Hill Road in Garden City.
Police say a Chatham County sheriff's deputy was out serving papers when he heard dogs barking. He soon discovered the dog fighting area.
"It's tough for us to see because we have a lot of K-9 officers in the department, and we are close to dogs," said Cpl. Kurtis Purtee with Garden City Police Dept.
Police found 11 pit bulls on the wooded lot. They say they were malnourished and abused living in terrible living conditions. Police also found needles and medicine.
"Typically the syringes are used to inject penicillin into the dogs. The penicillin is used to heal the dogs quickly when the dogs receive a wound from dog fighting," Purtee said.
Purtee said they are still interviewing suspects.
The area goes back a couple of hundred feet. One contraption is used to exercise the dogs by making them run after a live rabbit or raccoon.
Neighbors say they suspected something was going on, but weren't sure.
"I would hear barking all the time. Usually on the weekends is when I would see people around there the most. As the trees thinned out, you could see people. They would pull up and they would walk back through that way," neighbor Byron Francis said.
Verna Drayton lives across the street. She said she was worried for her grandchildren and their safety.
"They would come into my yard and I was afraid to work in my yard because I didn't know when they would have a change of attitude," Drayton said.
The dogs are now at Chatham County Animal Control. They appear to be friendly with people. "They were very scared when they came in. We have one that is timid and wants to hide in the back of the cage, but so far they all seem friendly," said shelter manager Jodi Lewis.
If you are interested in adopting the dogs, contact Chatham County Animal Control at 912.652.6575 or visit them at 7211 Sallie Mood Dr. in Savannah.