Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Largest Dog Fighting Raid and Rescue in U.S. History; Nearly 500

Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task ForceWorks with State and Federal Agencies on Largest Dog Fighting Raid and Rescue in U.S. History; Nearly 500Pit Bulls Seized in Multi-State Operation

Sept 14, 2009: 4 Mo. men plead guilty in dogfighting case

ST. LOUIS — Four Missouri men arrested in a federal dogfighting crackdown in seven states have pleaded guilty in St. Louis to conspiracy and other crimes.

They are among the first convictions resulting from the largest coordinated multistate raids on dogfighting in U.S. history.

On Monday, 50-year-old Teddy Kiriakidis of Leasburg; 38-year-old Michael Morgan of Hannibal; 56-year-old Robert Hackman of Foley; and 34-year-old Ronald Creach of Leslie, appeared before U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson. They admitted their roles in breeding, trafficking, fighting and destroying American pit bull terriers.

In July, federal agents arrested 26 people and seized more than 500 dogs in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas..." Link

UPDATE- Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rescue groups nationwide are working with the Humane Society of Missouri to care for the more than 400 dogs rescued in connection with the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history. The dogs were seized in a multi-state raid by federal and state officers in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi. The fate of the dogs will be decided by the federal courts in forfeiture proceedings separate from the criminal cases.

Several rescue groups that have experience with the breeds of animals rescued have offered their help to care for and eventually receive some of the dogs. Groups involved so far in these efforts include Mutts-n-Stuff, based in Missouri; Our Pack, Broken Hearts, Mended Souls; PBRC.net; Whole Rotta Love; and New Hope Pit Bull Rescue.

We are very grateful that these groups have stepped up to help us care for and eventually give some of them a second chance,” said Debbie Hill, vice president of Operations for the Humane Society of Missouri and incident commander for the emergency temporary shelter. “We hope to place as many of these dogs as possible so we need more groups and individuals like them to contact us offering places for these deserving animals.”

While the groups involved in this situation are working independently, there is talk of forming a Pit Bull Rescue Alliance in a collaborative effort to save more dogs from fighting situations in the future. For now, these groups encourage others to join them in coming forward to take in the placeable dogs from this rescue when they are available.

Groups or individuals interested in receiving some of these animals should immediately contact the Humane Society of Missouri at 314-802-5712.

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