More than 26 people have been arrested since Tuesday night when authorities, acting on a tip, raided a dog fighting operation in progress in the 200 block of West Seventh Street in Apopka, Fla. reported wesh.com.
An investigation had been going on for months, and authorities stepped in hoping to prevent anymore cruelty according to Apopka Police Chief Robert Manley:
"There were four scheduled fights tonight is what we were being told, so we got there after the first one.We were trying to get there before the first one because we didn't want another dog to suffer the way these dogs are suffering."
All of the suspects were taken to jail. Many tried to flee. Records show the home was occupied by Dawson and Mona Cumberland with authorities calling the condition of the home as disgusting. There was no electricity or running water.
On Wednesday, authorities continue to remove the animals classified by rescuers as existing in a "house of horrors." More than 24 dogs have been removed so far; all of the animals are being taken to shelters to be assessed. Many of the dogs were stated to be on the verge of death; one large dog with a broken leg walking on his knuckles was rescued from a cage.
According to the OrlandoSentinel.com, many of the dogs were emaciated. A mother dog and her newborn puppies were also rescued. Authorities found a raccoon and other small animals including chickens and rabbits in cages that were used as bait to teach the dogs to fight.
Inside of the home were punching bags for the dogs to bite as well as treadmills. Marijuana plants were also discovered.
All of the animals will be removed. Perhaps most heartbreaking was a tiny shoe found inside of the home where small children lived. Two children, aged three and five were found watching the bloody fight bash. Grandparents of the children were called and took custody.
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