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June 1, 2009

2 Alleged Dogfighting Operations Raided in Eastern Ala.

HSUS Tip Line Helps Lead to Arrests

The Humane Society of the United States

RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ala. — Authorities raided two alleged dogfighting operations in Randolph County, Ala. The district attorney for Alabama's Fifth Judicial Circuit, E. Paul Jones, led the raid in which two people were arrested and 45 dogs along with dogfighting paraphernalia were seized.

The Humane Society of the United States supplied information that led to Monday's actions.

Newell property:
William Alsabrook, the apparent owner of the operation in Newell, Ala., was charged with two counts of possession of dogs for fighting. Authorities seized a total of 25 dogs from the property, some showing scars consistent with dogfighting, and dogfighting paraphernalia. HSUS intelligence indicates that Alsabrook sold dogs nationwide since the 1970s. 

Roanoke property:
Artis Kyle, the apparent owner of the operation in Roanoke, Ala., was charged with one count of possession of dogs for fighting, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities seized 20 dogs along with dogfighting paraphernalia from the property. Some of the dogs had scars consistent with dogfighting.

"Dogfighting is a criminal underground industry that breeds horrible animal suffering and violence," said Mindy Gilbert, Alabama state director for The Humane Society of the United States.  "We commend the District Attorney's office for Alabama's Fifth Judicial Circuit and Fifth Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, led by Aris Murphy and David Cofield, for their unwavering commitment to rooting out illegal animal fighting in our state."

Dr. Melinda Merck, forensic veterinarian and leader of American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals' CSI Unit, assisted with the raid and evaluated the seized dogs for evidence of animal fighting. Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team Inc. assisted with the handling and transportation of the dogs.

Facts:

  • The HSUS, according to its policy, will recommend that dogs seized in these raids be evaluated for adoption suitability.
  • It is a class C felony to own, possess, keep or train a dog for the purpose of dogfighting in Alabama.
  • Those involved in illegal dogfighting can receive up to 10 years in prison, a fine of no more than $5,000 or both.
  • Information regarding these alleged dogfighting operations was first provided to The HSUS via its tip line, 877-TIP-HSUS. The HSUS animal fighting tip line was established by Norred & Associates Inc., a corporate security and investigations firm based in Atlanta, Ga.
  • The HSUS offers up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in animal fighting. The HSUS' animal fighting reward program has been made possible thanks to a grant by the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation, which is also based in Atlanta.  
  • Last year, The HSUS joined with Alabama's Attorney General Troy King to announce its $5,000 reward.
  • Dogfighting is a criminal industry; more than 250,000 dogs are placed in dogfighting pits each year.
  • The HSUS estimates that 40,000 people follow organized dogfighting circuits across the U.S. while an additional 100,000 meet on neighborhood streets, alleys and hideaways.
  • A Chicago Police Department study showed that 65 percent of people charged with animal abuse crimes — including dogfighting — were also charged with violent crimes against people.
  • The HSUS has a worked for more than a half-century to rid the nation of the scourge of this bloody activity.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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