8 State Historic Sweep of Dog Fighting Network

by Mary Haight on July 9, 2009

UPDATE: 7/9/09 10pm –  Nebraska and Mississippi, have been added to the network of dog fighting rings taken down in this sweep. (source: HSUS revision)

The ASPCA and HSUS organizations worked with Federal, State and local authorities to simultaneously raid an organized network of dog fighting rings operating across 6 States, making this the largest orchestrated dog fighting bust in US history.

HSUS took the lead in Eastern Texas and Oklahoma, and assisted the Humane society in Missouri and Southern Illinois in both the more than year-long investigation preceding the raids, and in the disposition of the dogs involved in the aftermath. Iowa and Arkansas were also part of the target group according to HSUS. The ASPCA has been involved, along with United Animal Nations, and PetSmart Charities working together in all rescue and sheltering efforts.

It took more than a month to set up the logistics alone, transporting emergency kennels for hundreds of dogs to be available in each State: “Dozens of HSUS experts and volunteers have gathered to provide animal handling, transport, sheltering and documentation assistance. Many of the dogs rescued from these dogfighting operations will be taken to the emergency shelter in specially designed animal transport vehicles provided by The HSUS.

While they are being cared for, each dog will be evaluated by animal behavior experts from the Humane Society of Missouri and other organizations to determine their suitability for possible placement with rescue groups or individual adopters” according to HSUS press release.

As many as 30 people were arrested, nine of which came from Texas, according Dallas News who have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture and buying, selling, delivering or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture. The defendants each face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000 if convicted. The judge may also direct them to pay the costs of sheltering the 300 plus dogs seized in the raids.

The unprecedented scope of this dog fighting bust operation involved many government agencies, including the USDA, the US Marshal Service, the State Highway Patrol, FBI, and the US Attorney. This made for a highly complex communication and logistics plan that delivered the required result. All government agencies working in concert with animal welfare organizations to continue the work of breaking the back of blood sports in the US was, I am sure, something to behold.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. […] ASPCA exhibit  includes evidence seized during raids, one of which was 8 State sweep of dog fighting rings in 2009, and another involving the infamous Michael Vick, an NFL quarterback, who ran a dog […]

  2. […] and HSUS  to assist in this sweep that ended a 3-year investigation. This ranks as the second largest dog fighting bust in US history. What you may not have heard is that the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), […]

Previous post:

Next post: