A suspected dogfighting ring has been busted by federal investigators and 168 animals have been rescued, according to the US attorney’s office in middle Georgia.
Many of the dogs that were rescued had scarring and were malnourished. Two of the dogs needed immediate surgery, according to Charlie Peeler, a US attorney. A female pitbull with broken legs was found chained, investigators reported according to AJC.
The search warrants covered seven counties and were executed in Crawford, Peach, Bibb, Houston, Taylor, Talbot, and Webster. The dogs are currently in the possession and care of the US Marshals Service outside of Georgia. There is no indication of their exact location.
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“I am incredibly grateful to the law enforcement teams who came together from all over the region to rescue these abused animals as we continue to investigate this alleged dogfighting ring,” Peeler said in an emailed statement according to AJC. “Illegal dogfighting is a barbaric activity. Those who choose to violate the Animal Welfare Act face serious consequences, including federal prison time, where there is no parole.”
According to the federal Animal Welfare Act, organizing a fight between animals is prohibited for the “purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment.” If convicted, those individuals could face up to five years in prison.
As of yet, no arrests have been made as it is still under investigation. According to Peeler, a number of federal, state, and local agencies are working on the case.
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