02/02/09 — Juveniles charged with dog fighting

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Juveniles charged with dog fighting

By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 2, 2009 1:46 PM

Three Wayne County juveniles have been charged with felony dog fighting in two unrelated cases stemming from investigations that began last summer.

Charged in connection with the dog fighting are a 14-year-old and two 16-year-old boys. The 16-year-olds were 15 at the time of the alleged incidents and were charged as juveniles, sheriff's officials said.

"To force animals to fight each other until the death is absolutely cruel," Wayne County Animal Control director Justin Scally said. "This type of crime commonly referred to as a 'blood sport' will not be tolerated in Wayne County."

Investigation of an animal cruelty case takes much more time than the general public realizes, Scally said.

In the first case, investigators responded to a home on Will Anderson Road in Dudley on July 16, 2008, after a tip to the Sheriff's Office.

Officers confiscated photographs of the actual fights during the investigation.

The "brutal" photographs depicted dogs "viciously" attacking each other, Scally said.

Three pit bulls were taken from the property during the investigation.

The second investigation started Sept. 15, 2008, with officers from the Depart-ment of Animal Control and Sheriff's Office responding to an address on Stanley Chapel Church Road in Dudley.

Upon arrival, officers found injured dogs, equipment used for wound care, old surgical gloves, needles, syringes and the remnants of injectable antibiotics given to dogs that had been injured during the fights.

Seven pit bulls were taken from the property.

Several of the dogs were infected with severe heartworm infestations, according to officials.

"This is a horrible crime against animals," Sheriff Carey Winders said. "It is amazing to me that people who participate in this criminal activity actually perceive this as a form of entertainment and have no remorse."

In an unrelated case, Scally also filed two counts of animal cruelty charges last week against a 13-year-old girl for torturing a family pet. No additional information was available at press time.