Police Break Up Pit Bull Fighting Ring - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Police Break Up Pit Bull Fighting Ring

TALBOT COUNTY, GA (WXTX) - More than 30 animals have been rescued, taken from a dog fighting ring in the usually quiet town of Box Springs, Georgia.

Thirty-six (36) American pit bulls now have a better chance at life after a dog fighting raid in Talbot County.  Chuck Simmons, who heads Norred's Special Operations, says, many of the dogs were "badly scarred from the vicious blood sport."

"We initiated this investigation about five or six months ago, we've been working this for months. We've been coordinating with the Talbot County Sheriff's Office and the investigation came to this raid, "added Simmons.

Chief Investigator Jeff Sivell with the Talbot County Sheriff's Department remarked, "This is a housing operation, they're doing the fighting off premises. Thirty-six (36) dogs is a large amount for Talbot County."

Several animal organizations around Georgia came to assist with the treatment and transportation of the abused pets.

The Executive Director of Georgia SPCA, Joan Sammond said, "We tag them and have a group of volunteer veterinarians and vet techs and staff that help us assess the health and condition of the animals."

The Atlanta Humane Society's mobile unit will take the dogs to shelters and prepare them for adoption or further medical attention.

"A lot of dog fighting digs are dog-aggressive but they have to be trained to respect the handler in these horrific situations. When we transfer them in this close proximity it becomes a safety issue because they try to fight each other," explained Miguel Abi-Hassan, the Director of Animal Welfare for the Atlanta Humane Society.

The unit is large enough to keep the dogs apart and enough volunteers are on-hand to calm the animals during the process.

As for the people responsible for the harsh treatment, Talbot County Sheriff's Department is working to bust more of these operations in the area.

"We operate off tips and we got several tips on this area. We've been down here several times and have more investigations going on," said Simmons.

32-year-old Antonio Monds is behind bars facing animal cruelty and dog fighting charges. There are other suspects in the dog fighting ring, and officials are currently serving those warrants.

Officials encourage anyone who knows anything about possible dog fighting in their area to contact an anonymous tip line at 1-877-215-2250. There could be a reward up to $5,000 for leads that result in an arrest. 

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