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Volunteers rescue majority of starved dogs from fighting ring - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers rescue majority of starved dogs from fighting ring

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

They were chained up in the hot sun for weeks without food or water, and now seven dogs are being nursed back to health by a rescue group in Barbour County. 

Volunteers from Southern Souls Animal League assisted police with the removal of animals from a vacant property in Louisville Alabama that were left abandoned and dying as their owner sat in jail, charged for committing an unrelated burglary.

"It was downtown Louisville, the people had moved from it. The dogs were chained up everywhere. The grass was very much overgrown in the yard.  There was an eighth dog there with a chain still around its neck that was dead.  The vet has checked these dogs. They're all improving in health. They're improving in their rehab. They had been pitted against each other to fight. They have the scars to show it," explains Jo Vaughn of Southern Souls Animal League.

The animal rescuers said the dog owner was expecting his girlfriend to take care of the animals while he was locked up, but for reasons unknown, she was not doing that.  After spending a few weeks in jail, the man volunteered information to police that he was a dog fighter and he told police where they could find them.

"The only thing I can think of is that maybe he felt sorry that his dogs were chained up at home and were going to die. Or maybe he thought it would help him beat the burglary charges he's in there for," says Vaughn.

One of the dogs has already been adopted by a family in Houston, Texas, but the others still need further medical attention.  The recently accredited Southern Souls is a non-profit rescue that is helping Barbour County deal with neglected and homeless animals as officials await the completion of a permanent animal shelter.

Louisville Police also arrested the girlfriend who was supposed to be keeping the dogs fed in the owner's unexpected absence.  Investigators were unable to get us the names or the photos of the arrested man and woman in time for our newscast, but more arrests may be coming soon.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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