[Nameplate] Fair ~ 89°F  
Heat Advisory
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

300+ pit bulls seized in largest dogfighting raid ever

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In connection with what is believed to be the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history, the Humane Society of Missouri, working in cooperation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the United States Department of Agriculture's Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service and the United States Attorney, is coordinating the rescue and sheltering of dogs associated with multiple suspected organized dog fighting operations. Early Wednesday morning, officers from multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies made arrests and seized dogs in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma. Investigators from the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force provided the information that led to the investigation.

Under contract with the USDA's Office of the Inspector General, the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force, working with partners from the ASPCA and Humane Society of the United States, is coordinating the multi-location effort to safely remove, transport and shelter the dogs. All pit bulls seized in Missouri and Illinois will be taken to a secure facility where the Humane Society of Missouri will conduct triage of each animal, document any evidence of dog fighting and oversee care for and shelter of the animals. All animals will receive a complete veterinary examination and necessary on-going veterinary care. The dogs will be cared for by the Humane Society of Missouri and its partners until final disposition by the United States District Court.

"The Humane Society of Missouri is vehemently opposed to this heinous blood sport. The way animals used in dog fighting are abused, at the hands of people for profit, is absolutely abhorrent," said Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. "We are grateful to the state and federal agencies for aggressively pursuing this investigation and bringing to justice those who perpetuate the systematic torture of dogs for sport and profit. Dog fighting is happening in every community in our state, right under our noses. Hopefully, public awareness and outrage will bring an end to this cruel and heinous form of animal abuse."

The multi-location rescue and transport operation required the training and experience of professional animal handlers from the various animal welfare organizations in addition to a variety of specialized animal transport vehicles. "Dog fighting is dangerous business -- for dogs and for people," says Tim Rickey, director of the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Task Force. "The rescue teams in action today are comprised of seasoned animal handling experts. Together with our ASPCA and HSUS partners, our Animal Cruelty Task Force is the most experienced and best trained and equipped team in the country. We are very gratified with today's rescue; it sends a significant message that this form of animal abuse will no longer be tolerated. We hope it leads to many other such operations to bring an end to dog fighting in the United States."

This week's rescue and the resulting sheltering operation are also the largest in scope undertaken by the Humane Society of Missouri in the organization's history, according to a Thursday morning news release. To keep the animals separate from the rest of the shelter population, the dogs are not being housed in any of the Humane Society of Missouri permanent locations but rather in an off-site temporary facility.

While they are being cared for, each dog will be evaluated by animal behavior experts from the Humane Society of Missouri and other organizations to determine their suitability for possible placement with rescue groups or individual adopters. The Humane Society of Missouri will make recommendations about each animal to the U.S. District Court which will make the final decision for each animal.

"We are committed to giving dogs who have come from such horrible abuse the absolute best chance for a good life," said Debbie Hill, vice president of Operations for the Humane Society of Missouri and director of the temporary shelter. "It is a tragedy that because of mistreatment by humans for financial gain and so-called sport, many dogs used in animal fighting may not ever be able to be placed in a home situation."

The Humane Society of Missouri says it would welcome help as it shelters the rescued dogs that were seized in the raids.

The dogs are mostly American Pit Bull Terriers and will be housed, cared for and evaluated at an undisclosed emergency shelter in St. Louis.

The Humane Society says it welcomes donations of sheets, towels, blankets, shredded newspapers and sturdy toys to its St. Louis headquarters, as well as donations to its fund for investigating animal cruelty. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Missouri Humane Society at 314-951-1542.


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on dailystatesman.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Here we go again...bunch of Missouri Redneck COWARDS fighting defenseless Pit Bulls. If it was up to me they would all be executed on the spot. That would possibly serve as a deterrent. Fact is, a man (coward) who would fight dogs has no value as a human...so they should be euthanized.

-- Posted by Bearcat72 on Thu, Jul 9, 2009, at 1:36 PM

Perhaps a better "future" for the ones who practice the "sport" would be for them to be chained, beaten, starved, and generally viciously abused. Then two could be selected to fight to the finish in a small area. The winner would then face another fellow and the routine would continue until only one is left. That one could be neutered so he could deliver whatever lesson he had learned in a VERY high voice. Euthanasia is too good for that type of low-life.

-- Posted by geezerette on Thu, Jul 9, 2009, at 2:24 PM

I am curious to hear who the owners of these dogs are and why their names haven't been mentioned. are they from around here or where is the rest of the story.

-- Posted by denene on Thu, Jul 9, 2009, at 4:17 PM

RuuuuuuuFF. RuuuuuuFFFFFFF.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Thu, Jul 9, 2009, at 7:39 PM

absolutely horrible,, want money? then collect it from all those idiots that fight the dogs and make millions of dollars at the cost of the poor dogs lives,,, make them pay up big time,

-- Posted by watha on Thu, Jul 9, 2009, at 9:12 PM

Fools like this give those poor dogs the bad and undeserved reputation that they have. I don't care if they are 'just animals'.....the uncouth that run dog fighting rings are the real "animals"!!!

-- Posted by mizzou_mom on Fri, Jul 10, 2009, at 1:21 AM

This picture is of my 2 Pit Bulls...Bentley and Merle. They are 2 bad boys...unless they are around children, elderly people, babies, baby squirrels, kittens, puppies, strangers who speak to them. Don't speak to them unless you want their attention because once they have decided YOU are friendly, they want YOUR attention. Merle, the one without the white on his nose, will attempt to sneak up into your lap as if you won't notice he weighs 65 pounds....but he will try. He aslo likes it when you whisper in his ear as he leans against you...even if he just met you and does not understand gibberish. He doesn't really care...all he wants is to be your hair blanket for a little while. Bentley, the big boy, has a fetish for peoples' elbows. I guess he figures they ALL need cleaning cause that is what he goes for first.

PIT BULLS ARE W O N D E R F U L !!!!

Read about them on the internet.

Here is the rest of the story on the Michael Vick dogs: http://www.badrap.org/rescue/

-- Posted by Bearcat72 on Fri, Jul 10, 2009, at 2:25 PM

Most people don't realize that dogs aren't born to be aggressive they are trained by humans. They really only want to please their owners and if it takes fighting another dog to get that approval -- that is what they will do.

Why can the authorities freeze and seize all assets of the people arrested to set up a new home for these poor dogs so they can be retrained. People selling drugs have their homes, cars taken for this type of crime. Make these horrible individuals pay for "their" crimes by losing all that they value -- money and possessions.

Maybe then others might think twice before putting other dogs into the fighting ring.

-- Posted by hunterr1950 on Sun, Jul 12, 2009, at 8:27 AM

I hope they rot in HELL. But before that fate, I hope they throw them into the pen and let the dogs take their justice. The owners of these dogs need their names in print so EVERYBODY knows who they are!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by EssexLady on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 11:35 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on this site, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.