Forty-six dogs were rescued over the weekend. Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement in Kalamazoo, Michigan, led raids on two establishments allegedly running dogfighting operations. Some of the dogs seized had scarring consistent with dogfighting and both homes had suspected dogfighting paraphernalia. The raids were the result of an anonymous tip and a long investigation. Charges are expected to be laid against two men; one of the men has been previously convicted on a dogfighting offence.
"In fighting situations like this, if they know they’re going to get raided if they don’t have a place to shuffle them off to, they will kill the dogs and bury them. We wanted to make sure nothing would happen to the dogs on this property, or to affect our smooth operation," said Stephen Lawrence, Kalamazoo County Animal Services.
Many of the dogs were tethered outside with heavy chains around their necks and were sleeping in makeshift kennels made out of metal drums (see video below). One property had large amounts of blood found inside a garage.
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team, the Kalamazoo Humane Society and Hello Bully assisted authorities with rescuing of the dogs found on the premises. The rescue groups helped to free the dogs and take them to veterinarians who were on site to examine the dogs for evidence of dogfighting and to administer any health attention that may have been necessary.
Without the assistance of the rescues, the dogs would likely have to be put down by Kalamazoo County Animal Control. The HSUS removed the dogs to a temporary shelter for further evaluation and rehabilitation and hope to find homes for the dogs out of state.
Tips on suspected dog fighting activities can be called through to 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787).