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May 26, 2010

The HSUS Assists in Two-State Dogfighting Raid

Case marks the first use of HSUS’ Mobile Animal Crimes Lab

A so-called pet transit company that allegedly served as a front for a North Carolina dogfighting operation is out of business. The Humane Society of the United States assisted in investigations by the Randolph County, N.C., Sheriff's Office and the Bedford County, Va., Sheriff's Office. Jeffrey Denny, the reported owner of the North Carolina-based national operation, was arrested in Virginia. The suspect was charged with one felony count of dogfighting in Virginia and 16 felony counts of dogfighting in North Carolina, among other charges.

Authorities seized 20 dogs, some bearing scars consistent with dogfighting.

Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting law enforcement for The Humane Society of the United States, said, "This high-level cooperation between sheriffs' departments in adjoining states sends a clear message to dogfighters: Even those who cross jurisdictional lines will be tracked down and brought to justice."

Dr. Laureen Bartfield, a veterinarian with Spay-Neuter Assistance Program of N.C., assisted with the raid and evaluated the seized dogs for evidence of animal fighting. Utilizing The HSUS' just-launched Mobile Animal Crimes Laboratory, animal fighting experts with The HSUS assisted law enforcement by conducting evidence identification and documentation at the scene. Randolph County Animal Control also helped with the handling, documentation and transportation of the dogs.

The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. Anyone with information about animal fighting criminals is asked to call 877-TIP-HSUS (847-4787). Tipsters' identities are protected.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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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