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Pit bull drag net widens

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  19 more pit bulls were seized in Southwest Dougherty County Tuesday morning as widespread dog fighting investigation continues.

The Albany Humane Society says they're overwhelmed.They're sheltering more than one hundred seized pit bulls, and they are asking the community for help, but there might be no happy ending for the dogs.

One by one the pit bulls were brought from the woods behind a home in the 3400 block of Aristedes Court.  19 dogs were found chained in the woods.  Animal control and Humane Society workers brought the very gentle-looking dogs out.

"I feel terrible for them.  Some of them out there are just so sweet.  A lot of them when we got them off the chain, it's just like they are ready to go. They just want to run.  They are starved for attention," said Albany Humane Society Executive Directory Donna Strickland.

But the dogs had to be kept apart, because they would attack another animal if they got close.  Many of the dogs had scars from possible dogs fights, but many did not.  GBI and Dougherty County Police say this site was found through the ongoing investigation from a Saturday night dog fight raid.

"This is a real close knit for lack of a better word community, that would engage in this type operation.  You see one, and they are all connected," said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.

The home owner, Walter Mallory, says a man named Jackson paid him to keep the dogs in his woods.  "He paid me $35 a month for the water bill.  What they did with the dogs I don't know.  Two or three guys come and feed them, but besides that I don't know nothing," Mallory said.

The GBI has arrest warrants for Demitri Jackson, who they think could be one of the ringleaders of the dog fighting operation. The Albany Humane Society shelter is full, and more cages have been ordered to hold all the pit bulls.

"Right now we're just overwhelmed," Strickland said. "We've taken in over 100 dogs in the last two days.  So it's really hard on our staff and the animals as well.  It's getting almost to a disaster standpoint just at the shelter."

The dogs must be kept as evidence for the court, and that could be months.  Even then, they can not be put up for adoption. "It's a good possibility that most of these dogs will have to be euthanized."

Investigators say they don't know how many more dogs will be seized as part of this continuing operation, but the Humane Society says the dogs are still better off at the shelter than chained in the woods, and being fought.

Strickland says the Humane Society needs volunteers to help with the overflow of animals.  They are asking people to hang onto their animals, and not surrender any in the next few weeks.  

They also need food, or donations.  If you can help, the Humane Society is located at 1705 Oakridge Drive, and their phone number is 229-888-7387.

 

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