Charleston Animal Society assists in multi-state dog fighting raid

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society, along with several other organizations, assisted authorities last week in rescuing over 350 dogs that were being used for dog fighting in four southeastern states.

Authorities performed 13 search warrants on Friday, August 23 throughout Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, recovering 367 dogs that were allegedly used for dog fighting. The raid was the culmination of a three year investigation.

The Charleston Animal Society, ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, and others helped with the removal and transportation of dogs to temporary emergency shelters. They will also be providing veterinary care and behavior enrichment to the dogs, which range in age from several day to 12 years.

"Charleston Animal Society continues to participate in these horrific animal cruelty raids whether they involve dog fighting rings, puppy mills, or hoarding situations," said Joe Elmore, chief executive officer of Charleston Animal Society. "Our staff helped with the initial raid, collecting crucial forensics evidence, then switched to providing medical support when the number of ill and injured dogs became evident."

According to a release, at least 10 suspects were arrested and indicted on federal dog fighting charges. As part of the investigation, local and federal law enforcement agencies seized firearms, drugs, and more than $500,000 in cash.

The release states the conditions of the dogs varied, with an ASPCA veterinarian saying a large number of the dogs appeared emaciated.

In one yard, 114 dogs were outside in 90 degree heat, covered with fleas, and without food or water, officials say.

For more information on Charleston Animal Society's fight to end animal cruelty, click here.

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