Dogfighting rings are notoriously difficult to infiltrate, but as of late, it appears that law enforcement is making huge gains in rescuing dogs from dogfighting and arresting the humans responsible.
45 dogs were rescued from a total of five homes in the Columbus area that were raided, multiples of which contained dogs that were chained up in the backyard in a style that is known to be used by dogfighters. 11 people were arrested in connection to this dogfighting ring bust which occurred across the city.
Not only were the Columbus Police Department (CPD) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) part of rescuing these dogs, but Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) was also involved.
The CPD stated that this case originally began much smaller with only the Capital Area Humane Society involved and the investigation of one suspect and 15 dogs. This investigation has been ongoing for over 1 1/2 years. The Executive Director of the Capital Area Humane Society stated that this is the largest dogfighting investigation that their agency has handled.
At one home, 20 dogs were rescued, most of whom were carried out in the arms of ASPCA agents, only further highlighting the loving and forgiving nature of survivors of dogfighting.
The backyard of this home had a tall wooden privacy fence that said “No Trespassing” and “Beware Of Dog.” A treadmill and chains were also removed from this home as evidence, both of which which are known to be used in training dogs to fight.
NBC 4 spoke to a cousin of someone who lived in the home described above. This family member stated that at one point he had counted at least 30 dogs, but did not think the dogs were used for the purpose of dogfighting. His alleged dogfighter told him they were being used for breeding and selling.
In another home, blood was found, which was believed to be from dogs that had patterns consistent with dogfighting or trainings dogs for the purpose of dogfighting.
As dogfighting is tied to other nefarious activities, police also found drugs, guns and money at these properties. Three children who were found at one of these homes were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services (CPS).
All 45 dogs are currently being housed at an undisclosed location.
It’s unclear what exactly sparked the investigation into this suspected dogfighting ring, though neighbors said that they have heard rumors of dogfighting in that area.
If you have a tip or a report to make on known or suspected dogfighting, please call the Humane Society of the United States‘ nationwide hotline at 1-877-TIP-HSUS. Those who provide tips may receive monetary compensation and can also be part of the process of stopping one of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty.
H/t ABC 6
Featured image via WSYX ABC6
Sources: Life With Dogs