Police Bust Suspected Dog-Fighting Ring in Seattle
POSTED: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 8:28am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm
A possible dog fighting ring has been uncovered near Seattle, Washington. Officials say as many as 22 pit bulls may be involved as well as a drug operation. Tonight, 22 pit bulls are in custody at the Tacoma Pierce County Humane Society.
Many show signs of abuse and mistreatment, like the ripped lip on this dog, and a wounded leg on another. Kathleen Olson, of the Tacoma & Pierce Co. Humane Society, says "she's obviously a dog that's never seen a veterinarian."
Sheriff's deputies believe the pit bulls were part of a dog fighting operation, being run out of this Graham home. Detective Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office says "they all have scars and have all been stitched up, there some dogs out there deceased in the bushes clear down to the bone, so obviously they were just discarding them by throwing them in the woods."
The investigation started Saturday when deputies responded to a domestic violence call coming from the home. They discovered a marijuana grow operation and arrested a 36-year-old man who lives there and then found the dogs and evidence they were being trained to fight.
Detective Troyer says "there were tread mills and leashes on them and cages built on them forcing the dogs into exercising and getting stronger, and there was veterinary medicine around but it was not being administered by a veterinarian, they were doing their own medical care for these dogs. "Neighbors say they have seen traffic go in and out of their property all the time. The residents often display firearms walking around the property. Those same neighbors wouldn't talk on camera for fear of retaliation.
The Humane Society says a handful of dogs could be adopted out but the rest will likely have to be euthanized. Even if the dogs are friendly toward humans, they could already be trained to attack to other dogs. A behavior that can't be unlearned. The 36-year-old man was arrested for first degree domestic violence assault and for growing marijuana. Animal cruelty charges and more arrests could follow.