A federal investigation into suspected dogfighting operations led to the rescue of 66 dogs and the seizure of dogfighting paraphernalia at properties in New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. The Humane Society of the United States assisted in the case led by U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Nine individuals were charged as part of a coordinated effort across numerous federal judicial districts to combat organized dogfighting.
Chris Schindler, director of animal crimes for the HSUS, said: “These dogs are finally free from their lives inside dark crates or at the end of heavy chains. Most importantly, they will never again have to fight to the death. We are incredibly encouraged by the federal government’s dedication to this case and to eradicating dogfighting nationwide. We are grateful to all the agencies involved that made these rescues possible.”
The HSUS assisted law enforcement in identifying dogfighting evidence and coordinating the rescue effort. St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center also helped remove the dogs and transport them to safety. The dogs will be held at a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will receive needed veterinary care and enrichment. It is the HSUS’ policy that dogs seized from animal fighting operations be treated as individuals and evaluated for potential placement with HSUS Dogfighting Rescue Coalition placement partners.
The federal Animal Welfare Act makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison to fight dogs or to possess, train, sell, buy, deliver, receive or transport dogs intended for use in dogfighting.
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- Media Relations