According to Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens, Emanuel County Investigators, working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, East Central Georgia Drug Task Force, served a search warrant and one arrest was made for dog fighting on Gar Road in Oak Park.
Norred & Associates Inc, an Atlanta private security firm, initiated an investigation that began two months ago as a result of confidential leads reported to a dog fighting tips line sponsored by Norred. A coordinated investigation between Norred and the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office uncovered evidence supporting information of dog fighting.
“This operation, like many others, involves dogs that have been neglected and abused,” says Norred Investigator, Chuck Simmons. “This situation also appears to be an ongoing criminal enterprise, which our dog fighting campaign targets.” This is the 19th raid that Norred has fascilitated.
The Atlanta Humane Society, working in conjunction with the Emanuel County Sheriffs Office and Norred, has deployed the HEART, or Humane Emergency Animal Rescue Team, along with their fifth-wheel RV to help triage and transport the rescued dogs. Eighteen (18) dogs were seized and transported to the Atlanta Humane Society for evaluation and treatment.
“This was a very organized and coordinated dog fighting operation,” says Sheriff Stephens. “I was sickened by the deplorable and disgusting conditions these animals were being forced to live in. The way these dogs were being treated is deeply troubling.”
Arrested was WILLIAM PANICK (57) of 70 Gar Road, Oak Park. PANICK was arrested on a warrant for AGGRAVATED CRUELTY TO ANIMALS and has pending charges for DOG FIGHTING and FELONG POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA. He is currently being held in the Emanuel County JaiL
If you have any information regarding this matter, please call the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office at 478-237-7526 or the Norred toll-free animal cruelty hotline—1.877.215.2250 to report suspected animal abuse cases anonymously.