A gruesome trend is developing in the Southeastern states.
After answering to a call about a sickly pit bull on a heavy chain, authorities discovered dozens more malnourished, flea-infested dogs chained up and likely being used for fighting.
Officers who responded to the call noted 52-year-old Sherman Holt attempted to hide his dog from sight. According to Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith, upon returning to his 186 Chapel Hill Road address with a warrant, the officers found 33 more animals chained up in and outside of Holt’s home.
“Upon our deputy conducting his initial investigation into the complaint and observing the dog it appeared to be emaciated,” Smith said. “The deputy was able to document that the ribs and backbone of the pit bull were visible. Our Deputy was able to document the appearance of the pit bull through photographic evidence. He then forwarded his findings to our investigative division along with animal control.”
One pit bull was chained to a treadmill, while others were chained to car axles, or near large barrels of water where officers say the dogs may have been forced to tread water.
“These pit bulls were invested with fleas and most of the adult dogs were chained to car axles that were buried in the ground by large logging chains,” the sheriff said. “Two litters of pit bull puppies were located in a makeshift kennel that was cramped and also covered in fleas. We also located a large plastic drum filled with water with chains attached to both sides.”
Meriwether County Animal Control, Fayette County Animal Control, LaGrange Animal Control, and Macon-Bibb County Animal Control assisted officers in the investigation and with housing the rescued animals.
The agencies are also caring for the rescued animals.
Holt is being charged with a single count of dog fighting, 25 counts of cruelty to animals and nine counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and is currently lodged at the Meriwether County Jail.
Georgia has been plagued with incidents of dog fighting this year. And all of this is just days after a dog fighting ring was uncovered, and remains under investigation, in Holly Springs, Miss. Dog fighting continues to leave abused and dead animals in its wake. Thanks to the tireless work of countless dedicated animal activists, conducting any kind of animal fighting is now a federal offense. This is a great milestone for animal advocacy; however, animal fights still occur and there are people who are still willing to attend them. That’s why we need comprehensive legislation that would also punish those who attend animal fighting events.