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February 14, 2013

Eighty Dogs Rescued from Alleged Dogfighting Operation

Eighty dogs are finally free.

During the course of a two-year-long investigation into narcotics trafficking, authorities in northeastern North Carolina fell upon a major dogfighting operation. In the end, authorities seized dozens of dogs and arrested two alleged perpetrators.

Rescued-dogfighting-pasquotank-co
Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office
One of 80 dogs rescued from an alleged dogfighting
operation in Elizabeth City, N.C.

So many of the raids we conduct with law enforcement turn up bloodied or scarred animals and illegal narcotics. In fact, a three-year study by the Chicago Police Department found that 70 percent of animal offenders had also been arrested for other felonies, including domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug trafficking and sex crimes.

“Getting these two off the streets of Elizabeth City/Pasquotank County on the drug charges alone will help provide for a much safer community, but also removing these animals and putting a stop to such cruelty goes even further to maintaining a safer community and protecting the dogs and public,” said Sheriff Randy Cartwright, in a news release from The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office.

The HSUS Animal Rescue Team assisted with the rescue, which occurred over a two-week period, according to personnel with the sheriff’s office. And we’ll be helping North Carolina authorities and local rescue organizations in the aftermath, with our experts reviewing evidence and helping the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina care for the dogs. Eventually these dogs will be placed with The HSUS dogfighting rescue coalition to be rehabilitated and assessed for adoption into loving homes.

Great thanks to all involved in helping rescue these dogs – PCSO, Elizabeth City Police Dept., the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Camden Sheriff’s Office, SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina and Pasquotank Animal Control; and thanks to HSUS corporate partner PetSmart Charities for providing food, supplies and enrichment items for the dogs as they recover and start the next, best chapter of their lives.

P.S. There has been an uptick in arrests of people involved in animal fighting in recent years because we’ve heightened awareness of the problem, trained law enforcement on investigating these crimes, and worked hard to strengthen state and federal laws against the practice. In fact, over the past decade, Congress has closed major loopholes and strengthened penalties in the federal animal fighting law. But there’s one loophole still to be addressed: the issue of spectators at the fight. To correct that, we are backing the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which will make it a federal crime to attend an illegal animal fighting enterprise. That legislation passed the Senate last Congress, but the House did not take it up before the Congress completed its work for the year. It’s been reintroduced in the House and Senate, and now it’s up to all of us to get this bill to the President in 2013.

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