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Federal and state investigators have made 12 arrests and rescued 367 pit bull terriers in a multi-state raid to shut down a dog fighting ring in what is believed to be the second-largest raid against organized dog fighting in the United States. The government agents and local police teamed up with animal rescue agencies including the ASPCA to save the dogs from untold torture.

“In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90 degree heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the property. Some appeared to have no access to water at all, and many exhibited wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dogfighting,” according to the ASPCA.

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“Makeshift, filthy doghouses — many improvised from plastic and metal barrels and others made of chipboard with rotting wood floors and rusted metal roofing — provided the only shelter in the sweltering heat and humidity. Some dogs pulled at chains and cables that were tethered to cinder blocks and car tires. A female dog did her best to tend to six puppies, just weeks old, with no food or water, in a pen littered with trash and feces.”

$500,000 in gambling proceeds were also confiscated along with guns and narcotics. Arrests were made in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.

“These defendants were betting between $5,000 and $200,000 on one dog fight,” stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. “The number of dogs seized and the amount of money involved in this in case shows how extensive this underworld of dog fighting is. These dog fighters abuse, starve and kill their dogs for the supposed ‘fun’ of watching and gambling on a dog fight. Their behavior is deplorable, will not be tolerated, and will be punished to the full extent of the law.”

These dogs were rescued and moved to undisclosed locations where they are being treated, fed and shown affection. Efforts will be made to rehabilitate and find adoptable dogs their forever homes.