ROME, GA: A raid at a residence in Lindale today resulted in the arrest of two suspects and the recovery of several dogs living in unsanitary conditions. According to officers, the dogs had been used in a fighting operation.

Norred & Associates, Rome-Floyd Animal Control, and the Floyd County Police Department cooperated in the arrest. Norred & Associates, an Atlanta based corporate security and investigation firm, had been monitoring the operation for some time and decided they had enough information to move on the operation.

“We got a tip some time ago about this operation and we took the tip to the Floyd County Animal Control and the Floyd County police,” Charles Simmons of Norred and Associates said. “They did an investigation that led to warrant and today’s action.” The raid resulted in the rescue of 12 adult male pit bulls, three females and about six puppies at an Eden Circle home, according to Animal Control.

Dominique Ladell Porter, 26, of 514 Harper Ave., and Marcus Fredriek Beasley, 21, of 223 Pennington Ave., have been charged with 15 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, according to Floyd County Jail records. They were released on $20,250 bail.

Porter, a pressman at the Rome News-Tribune, was previously arrested in January and charged with six counts of felony dog fighting and six misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

Simmons, who was also involved in that investigation, said the dogs recovered Thursday were in deplorable conditions. “These dogs have been essentially living in their own filth,” he said.

Officers found the living condition of the dogs to be unsanitary. In the area where the puppies were kept, the odor of rotting feces permeated the air. The adult dogs, kept in a separate pen, were kept on 4-foot chains that weighed more than the dogs. Simmons lamented some of these dogs will “spend their whole life on those chains.”

He said that the dogs were “given food and water from time to time,” but he said “there is no food or water present today.” Some dogs were severely injured, showing signs of recent fighting. Most were taken by animal control for examination; some were taken to local veterinary practices for immediate attention.

Lt. Dana Collum of the Floyd County Police Department said dog fighting may be on the rise in Rome because there have been many raids in Northeast Georgia recently, causing the dogfighters to drift to less active dog fighting towns like Rome.

Jason Broome, director of Floyd County Animal Control, said all the dogs will be “evaluated by a veterinarian on Saturday where the scarring and injuries will be documented as evidence.” Following the evaluations, Animal Control will work to get the dogs adopted. Many of the dogs “have adoption potential,” and would be eligible for adoption by rescue groups, Broome said.