27 dogs rescued from a suspected dog-fighting operation – owner could face 135-year sentence

Despite a nation-wide ban and tough penalties for those caught breeding dogs for fighting and organizing dog fights, it still goes on.

A disturbing case came to light in Florida earlier this year when Sumter County Sheriff’s office investigated a residence which had a dog-fighting pit and 27 dogs chained up, some were visibly injured.

Now the resident of the property Alva T Ridgeway could face a 135- year sentence and $135,000 in fines.

Deputies described the find as a “major dog-fighting operation”

Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies discovered and dismantled what appeared to be a major dog-fighting operation on Lowder…

Posted by Sumter County Sheriff's Office (Sumter, SC) on Thursday, June 13, 2019

When the property was searched a number of disturbing finds were made including skinny dogs on chains that were too heavy and short.

According to a Facebook post from Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, “Deputies found other equipment consistent with dog-fighting including a treadmill and a stand used to force breeding.”

Injuries and scars

“Twenty-seven dogs — what appeared to be pit bulls and pit bull mixes — were found on the property attached to logging chains. Many of the dogs had injuries and scars consistent with dog-fighting and many looked emaciated.”

The dogs were taken to a veterinarian who confirmed the injuries were consistent with fighting.

Ridgeway could face a cumulative sentence of up to 135 years in prison and $135,000 in fines if he is found guilty of the 27 counts of animal fighting and baiting, according to Adrienne Sarvis, Public Information Officer at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

The 38-year-old has also been charged with 24 counts of animal cruelty, baiting, possession of a firearm by a violent felon, and possession of a stolen vehicle, Sarvis said, according to The Epoch Times.

One of the dogs didn’t survive after sustaining injuries that weren’t treated and became infected, another two were in a serious condition, the Epoch Times reported.

‘Prosecuted to the fullest’

“We certainly want to save as many dogs as we can,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis said.

“But we also want to protect the public should some of these dogs be too aggressive to take home.

“Cases of animal cruelty will always be taken seriously and prosecuted to the fullest,” Sheriff Dennis added.

I cannot imagine the horrors these dogs have been forced to endure in the name of financial gain and ‘sport’.

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