Major dog-fighting bust highlights major problem

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I think U.S. Attorney George Beck has struck the key note, in terms of the criminal element in our society. In the first paragraph of an article on the site, about a huge dog-fighting raid, Beck was paraphrased as saying he, “thinks there are two types of people in hell – those who are cruel to children and those who are cruel to animals.”

The article reports the raid and rescue of 367 pit bulls was a joint effort from the Auburn Police Division out of Alabama, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, other local law enforcement agencies, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.

Ten individuals were arrested and the search is on for three more. They should be charged as terrorists. The dogs were living in what was described as being “horrendous” conditions. They were chained and malnourished.

If these criminals were in the greyhound racing business, they’d probably claim they couldn’t possibly be dog fighters because the dogs have to be in tip-top shape to fight. Of course, we all know that excuse is a load of what I regularly scoop out of the back yard.

Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the US has blogged twice this week concerning the case, once on Monday and again on Tuesday.

Thankfully, the dogs are now receiving medical care and treatment to overcome horrible conditions they were living in.

WMBF News ran an article earlier this week about the raid and Alabama’s tough animal-cruelty laws. The state is ranked third in the nation in dog-fighting laws by the Humane Society of the US, behind New Jersey and Louisiana.

A first felony conviction for dog fighting, a class C felony, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

That good. But the penalties should be more and the years in prison should not include probation. The scum who commit crimes such as this should never be eligible for parole.

The rescue is getting a good bit of media attention, but should be getting much more on the national level – cable news, etc. The PR Newswire piece notes many of the dogs were tethered with heavy chains, in 90-degree heat and without food and water.

Sites in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas were involved in 13 search warrants executed August 23.

Pacelle was quoted as saying, “We are committing to eradicating dog fighting in every dark corner where it festers. This series of raids reminds every dogfighter that they are not beyond the law and their day of reckoning will come.”

The HSUS is looking for other rescue organizations to join forces for its Dogfighting Rescue Coalition:

After assisting in the rescue of nearly 400 dogs from multiple dogfighting operations in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, The Humane Society of the United States is now providing around-the-clock care to the animals at its shelter in an undisclosed location. The dogs are receiving healthy food, clean water, toys and plenty of TLC. The dogs are also being treated for their injuries and the effects of neglect by veterinarians.

However, the most important part of these dogs’ recovery has also begun at our shelter. The dogs are all being evaluated by behavior analysts, who are developing individual rehabilitation plans for each animal. This work is essential to ensure the safe transition of these dogs from their previous lives of misery to their future as well-adjusted pets.

When these dogs are released by the court and able to move on to the next stage of their lives, The HSUS will need help from other rescue groups and shelters around the country. We are seeking groups to join our Dogfighting Rescue Coalition, to help find these deserving dogs new homes. Groups from all across the country can possibly help rehabilitate and rehome these dogs. Working with our partners in this coalition, The HSUS has a uniquely high success rate at adopting dogs rescued from fighting. More info at:

Thank you to the ASPCA and the HSUS and to all of the law enforcement agencies involved in this terrific and compassionate operation.

It’s time put those who abuse animals and children in prison and leave them there. If the cells are overcrowded, there’s always the prison yard, where cages and chains can be set up for their housing.

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