Law enforcement officers searched two suspected dog-fighting operations in Gordon and Wilkinson County.
Wilkinson County Sheriff Richard Chatman says his office arrested 42-year-old Christopher A. Williams for cruelty to animals at a home off Highway 57. He says his deputies found more than 58 abused dogs living in the woods at the site.
Sgt. Andy Hester with the Gordon Police Department says about a dozen dogs were seized at a home on Miller Street in Gordon. He said many seemed to have cuts and scars. He also said the dogs appeared to be living in large plastic barrels with dirty or no water.
“There’s heavy chains a lot of the dogs are starved. There’s actually a dog in there with with his teeth that are filed down. He’s a dog that’s used to train the other dogs so to speak, they put him in the pit with the other dogs. This dog can’t defend itself and it’s very scarred up. It looks bad,” said Hester.
He says one man was arrested at the Miller Street home, but he has not been charged. Police have not released his name.
Wilkinson sheriff’s deputies found a pit behind the Highway 57 site, but Chatman said it appear to have been grown over. He said they had no evidence of dog fighting at the location.
Norred & Associates, a private security firm, received tips that led officials to the sites.
According to a news release, Norred & Associations began investigating the two locations last month after receiving information on its dog fighting tip line. The firm is working with the police and sheriff’s departments.
Norred investigator Chuck Simmons says, “Many of the dogs, which were being kept in deplorable conditions, bear scars and wounds that are consistent with those found in other dog fighting operations. We’ve also found fighting training equipment at both locations and a dog fighting pit at one.”
The news release says the raids are being conducted simultaneously, but the two cases are independent of one another.
“Conditions down there are pretty deplorable we’ve got scarred dogs, injured dogs, some that are emaciated, that is they’re not being fed well,” said Simmons. He said it appeared the owner at Highway 57 site seems to be self-medicating the dogs for injuries.
The Atlanta Humane Society was on hand helping to provide transportation and medical care for the dogs.