Multiple south Georgians arrested in dog fighting bust
LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) -
Another south Georgia man, Larry Watford of Adel, is charged after his home was searched and multiple dogs were seized.
It's part of the second largest dog fighting bust in U.S. history.
After a 3-year multi-state investigation, investigators seized 367 dogs from 13 homes, including three in south Georgia.
Video from the Humane Society of the United States shot on Friday shows one of the 13 dog fighting raids across the U.S. Many of the dogs were found with battle wounds, malnourished, and left in the heat without proper food and water.
27 dogs were seized at a home on Madison Highway in Lowndes County. Investigators also confiscated treadmills, a trailer to transport the dogs, cocaine and several marijuana plants.
"In a lot of cases unfortunately, they're fighting to the death. The loser loses by giving its own life. And its really sad that this is going on anywhere, but especially right here," said Lt. Stryde Jones, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.
No one was home at the time of the raid. Officials say multiple arrests are coming. Also on Friday in Echols County, Raymond Hendrix and Tara Hunt were arrested at their Copeland Road home. Nine dogs were seized from the home.
"They would travel to different states, different areas, and I guess host these dog fights," said Echols COunty Sheriff, Randy Courson.
Lowndes and Echols County officials say they believe fights were hosted locally in both cases. Officials say those involved were betting between $5,000 and $200,000 on one dog fight.
"They try to profit from the cruelty and the inhumane conditions that they put these dogs through. It's a shame," said Courson.
So far ten people in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Georgia have been arrested.
Raymond Hendrix is charged with dog fighting and possession of the tools for the commission of a crime. Tara Hunt is charged with party to a crime.
Rescuers with the Humane Society of the United States are now caring for all 367 dogs rescued during the raids.