According to this report, police in Darlington Co, SC found $5000 in crack and cash in a mobile home last week. Four suspects were arrested and they face drug related charges. Police are investigating if they might be involved in a recent drive-by shooting as well. All this seems pretty straightforward until you get to the part about the police seizing 10 Pitbulls from the property and calling it a suspected dogfighting ring. I’m expecting to read the standard fare: the dogs were evaluated by a Vet who described their injuries as being consistent with dogfighting, the suspects had “dogfighting paraphernalia” on the property, etc. But no, hang on to your hats:
Although the dogs are in good condition, investigators believe they were being bred to fight because of the conditions on the property and because they were being fed high-quality, high-protein food, [Darlington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Charles] Wright said.
Holy Boing-oing-oinging Eyeballs Batman!
I have no idea what “conditions on the property” refers to as the only conditions described were related to drugs. Maybe they had a fighting pit, bloody carpeting and a rape rack and police didn’t reveal that, I don’t know. But honestly, I hope it takes more than your dogs having a Hi-Pro Glow to get you busted on suspicion of dogfighting these days.
As always I want to reiterate, if these guys or anyone is involved in dogfighting, you are dead to me and believe me, you’ll be thankful I’m not presiding over your case.
My problems with the seizing of dogs in suspected dogfighting cases are many:
- The dogs are often housed in terrible conditions for extended periods while they are held as evidence
- The owner often forfeits his rights to his dogs before he’s had his day in court
- The dogs usually end up being killed because groups like The InHumane Society get involved
- If the owner is eventually cleared of dogfighting charges, he is left with no recourse unless he can afford an attorney to pursue the matter
We sometimes see questionable “evidence” of suspected dogfighting in these cases with common items such as treadmills, garden hoses and break sticks being cited. (Break sticks are common in homes with multiple Pitbulls and are used responsibly, in case of emergency, by many caring Pitbull owners who don’t fight dogs; treadmills and garden hoses – well, duh.) This case is the first time I can recall the “evidence” of suspected dogfighting being dogs described as “in good condition” and being fed good quality dog food. Perhaps there’s much more to the case that police are not releasing at this time but will be used in court. I don’t know. I only hope these dogs aren’t dead by then.