A joint operation took place at Danielsville, Georgia last week. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Madison County Animal Control to bust an alleged dog fighting inside Shake Down Kennels.
Its owner, Johnny Stewart Johnson, Jr., was arrested on eight charges of felony dog fighting — with each count of the seven pit bulls. The raid occurred in Madison County, which led to the results of seven dogs seized for examination and evidence — as well as dog fighting paraphernalia.
“The ASPCA is proud of to assist HSUS in their raid of this illegal dog fighting ring” said ASPCA President/CEO Ed Sayers.
Part of this team included Dr. Melinda Merck, the senior director of Veterinary Forensics, which gave her the access to examine and care for victims immediately, gathering and processing all forensics at the scene.
“It was a privilege being able to be a part of this organized and thorough investigation” she commented. “Dog fighting cases are very complex and it sometimes takes multiple resources in order to effectively bring them down. This collaborative effort is a shining example of our ongoing fight against animal cruelty.”
This has been the first dog fighting raid since the enforcing of new legislation two months ago. Signed by Governor Sonny Purdue, it increases Georgia’s laws on dog fighting: making it as a crime to own, possess, train, transport or sell dogs for the purpose of dog fighting. Whoever is involved in dog fighting, as Johnson being alleged of, will either earn an sentence between one and five years in prison, a small $5,000 fine, or both.
“Now that Georgia’s animal fighting law really has some teeth”, Merck stated, “We should expect a serious crackdown on dog fighters in this great state in the months and years to come.”