Animal News

Dallas authorities seize 21 dogs chained and penned in fighting operation

Dallas authorities seize dogs chained and penned in fighting operation

SPCA dog fighting
Dogs were taken into custody by Dallas authorities. Photo courtesy of SPCA

Dallas authorities uncovered what looks to have been a dog-fighting operation in southeast Dallas on July 12, ending in the seizure of 21 dogs and an assortment of dog-fighting paraphernalia.

Late at night on July 12, the SPCA of Texas, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office's Animal Cruelty Unit, the Dallas Police Department, and Dallas Animal Services took custody of 18 fighting dogs, including 11 dogs and seven puppies. Several types of dog-fighting paraphernalia were seized, including a treadmill, spring poles, flirt poles, medical supplies used to administer supplements and drugs to the dogs, steroids, antibiotics, pain reducers, chains, and more.

The morning of July 13, three more dogs were seized from the same area, bringing the total number of dogs to 21.

Dallas Police Narcotics SWAT officers were on another assignment when they discovered the dogs and paraphernalia and contacted the SPCA. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office's Animal Cruelty Unit and the SPCA of Texas expect to issue arrest warrants for state jail felonies and Class A misdemeanors for dog fighting and ownership of paraphernalia.

The dogs were found either chained with heavy tow chains attached to car axles sunk into the ground or in pens on the property. Most of the dogs have scarring on their faces, chest, and legs, which is consistent with dog fighting. Some of the dogs didn't have access to water.

The SPCA transported the animals to a secure location to provide medical treatment and care until a custody hearing can take place. The hearing will take place on July 21 at the Dallas County Government Center Precinct 1, Place 2 courthouse, at 107 Texas St., in Lancaster with the Honorable Valencia Nash presiding.

The operation was located in Dallas' District 7, just east of US 45 and north of CF Hawn Freeway.

Dog fighting is a crime in all 50 states, including Texas, where it is a felony to cause dogs to fight with one another; to use or permit another to use any real estate, building, room, tent, arena, or other property for dog fighting; and to participate in the earnings or operation of a dog-fighting facility, punishable by up to two years in a state jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

In Texas, it is a Class A misdemeanor to own or possess dog-fighting equipment with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for dog fighting or in furtherance of dog fighting, to own or train a dog with the intent that the dog be used in an exhibition of dog fighting and/or to be a spectator at a dog fight.

Federal law also prohibits any interstate or foreign transport of fighting animals.