IFAW assists ASPCA and HSUS in second largest dog fighting case in US history
In a case led by Auburn Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Attorney’s Office, 367 dogs were rescued from sites in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia last week. The operation is believed to be the second-largest dog fighting raid in US history.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW- www.ifaw.org) assisted the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) with removal and transport of the dogs to temporary shelters, collection of forensic evidence and veterinary care.
In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90 degree heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the property. Some appeared to have no access to water at all, and many exhibited wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dog fighting. Makeshift, filthy dog houses—many improvised from plastic and metal barrels and others made of chipboard with rotting wood floors and rusted metal roofing—provided the only shelter in the sweltering heat and humidity. Some dogs pulled at chains and cables that were tethered to cinder blocks and car tires. A female dog did her best to tend to six puppies, just weeks old, with no food or water, in a pen littered with trash and feces.
“I am so proud of the IFAW team that worked long hours in three different states to make sure that these dogs will never fight, be forced to breed, or live in these deplorable conditions ever again,” said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Disaster Response Manager.
To assist in the operation, IFAW mobilized a team of 15 that included veterinarians, emergency responders and drivers. Three custom-fitted animal rescue trucks and trailers were deployed by IFAW to help transport seized dogs to undisclosed temporary emergency shelters. The fleet included two 36-foot trailers, one funded by the Petfinder Foundation, the other made possible by GreaterGood.org. The cargo included 150 crates, humane capture equipment, emergency veterinary supplies and forensic evidence kits.
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.