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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Humane Society of Missouri Takes 15 Pit Bulls From Accused Dogfighter Near Branson

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 11:53 AM

click to enlarge A pit bull named Fay, rescued in July 2009, lost its lips to dogfighting injuries. - HUMANE SOCIETY OF MISSOURI
  • Humane Society of Missouri
  • A pit bull named Fay, rescued in July 2009, lost its lips to dogfighting injuries.
In July 2009 the Humane Society of Missouri teamed up with the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and several other law enforcement agencies to bust the largest dogfighting ring in U.S. history, collecting nearly 500 pit bulls and arresting 26 people in six states.

A year later, the local chapter of the Humane Society is back at it again.

Investigators from the group's Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued seven adult pit bulls and eight puppies from a rural property in Kimberling City, located about 18 miles west of Branson in Stone County. Two of the dogs reportedly had "recent wounds," including a bloody eye.

Here's the official version of events from the Humane Society of Missouri:
At the request of the Stone County Sheriff's Department, the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force last night rescued seven adult pit bulls and eight puppies from the property of an alleged dog fighter near Kimberling City, MO in Stone County. Several of the dogs had old wounds and two adults had recent wounds - including one with a bloody eye. The dogs were found on a densely wooded hillside away from public view. Most of them were attached to heavy log chains and thick collars. The property was trash strewn and had dilapidated buildings with multiple abandoned trucks.

The Stone County Sheriff's Department has been investigating this situation since last December and consulted with members of HSMO's Animal Cruelty Task Force during the investigation. The Humane Society of Missouri was asked to assist with rescue of the dogs when the warrant was served yesterday by the Stone County Sheriff.

"We are committed to working with law enforcement to eliminate the brutal and illegal dog fighting activities throughout Missouri," said Debbie Hill, vice president of Operations for the Humane Society of Missouri. "We sincerely appreciate the diligent efforts of the Stone County Sheriff's Department and Prosecutor in their pursuit of this case."

The owner of the pit bulls voluntary surrendered all of the rescued animals to the Humane Society of Missouri. The rescued dogs were taken to the Humane Society of Missouri's Headquarters shelter in St. Louis City for triage and care. During the next several weeks, the dogs will receive thorough veterinary examinations and behavior evaluations with the goal of placing as many of them as possible with qualified rescue groups or in private homes.
Seventeen people arrested in the July 2009 case have pleaded guilty to the dogfighting charges and are serving time in federal prison.

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