Dogs were seized in illegal fighting operations in southern states Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. In total, authorities freed over 367 pit bull terriers and confiscated over $500,000 in unlawful gambling funds in one of the largest criminal dog fighting rings to date.
A 30-count indictment was handed down by U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr., whose robust words against the 11 arrested individuals left no room as to the Attorney’s feelings over the matter.
“It’s really a sad day to me and a sad day of affairs in the state of Alabama to have to even indulge in this type of criminal activity and prosecution,” Beck said. “I believe if Dante were alive today and were rewriting ‘The Inferno,’ that the lowest places in hell would be reserved for those who commit cruelty to our animals and to our children.”
The FBI, the Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and local authorities all collaborated in the joint federal and state effort to bring this ring of animal abuse to an end. Investigators said the dog fighting scandal was in operation since 2009.
All dogs seized are currently being cared for by the ASPCA and the Humane Society. They will be available for adoption once the trial is over.
Matt Bershadker, president and chief executive officer of the ASPCA, said: “Today, we ended the torture of hundreds of abused and neglected dogs.”
U.S. Attorney Beck added: “These dog fighters abuse, starve and kill their dogs for the supposed ‘fun’ of watching and gambling on a dogfight. Their behavior is deplorable, will not be tolerated, and will be punished to the full extent of the law.”