Police Arrest Over 20 People, Help Save Hundreds Of Dogs In State’s Largest Dogfighting Ring

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Law enforcement officers arrested more than 20 people over the weekend in the biggest dogfighting operation takedown in South Carolina state history, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The officers interrupted a dogfighting match in Richland County Saturday and executed 23 search warrants at properties in Richland, York, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Lee and Sumter Counties, according to the DOJ. In addition to rescuing 305 dogs, officers took about 30 firearms, $40,000 in cash and other evidence related to the dogfighting.

“To force dogs to fight, often to the death, for the enjoyment of others is not only a federal crime, it is also cruel, sadistic, and can create a haven for other illicit activities involving drugs and firearms,” U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs said.

The Humane Society of the United States and Bark Nation have assisted with the care of the rescued dogs. (RELATED: Dog Learns How To Walk Like A Human After Near-Death Experience)

“Even after the many years we have worked to protect dogs from the calculated brutality that dogfighting perpetuates, our responders are still struck by the resilience of these dogs who have suffered unthinkable cruelty,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to the federal and state officials for intervening on behalf of these dogs and for the opportunity to work together to get them the care they deserve.”