Charleston Animal Society assisting in dog fighting ring bust

Columbia, S.C. (WCIV) — The Charleston Animal Society was deployed to assist multiple agencies in investigating a dog fighting operation in the Columbia area that rescued more than 30 dogs from three properties.

After search warrants were executed Wednesday morning by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, responders discovered more than 30 dogs.

The U.S. Marshals, the FBI, Columbia area law enforcement and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)are all involved in the investigation.

The dogs will be transported to an ASPCA temporary shelter at an undisclosed location, where they will receive medical care and behavioral enrichment by ASPCA veterinary and behavior experts.

Five staff members from Charleston Animal Society were deployed, including veterinarians, vet assistants and the society’s cruelty investigator.

Charleston Animal Society personnel formed the medical team that examined the dogs. The society’s animal cruelty investigator worked closely with law enforcement, assisting in the recovery of forensic evidence.

“At the core of our mission is a promise to fight animal cruelty wherever it exists,” said Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society director of anti-cruelty and outreach. “When we are called, we will respond whenever and however we can.”

“Despite being a felony in all 50 states, dog fighting continues to be a popular underground activity and is more prevalent than many people think,” said Stacy Wolf, senior vice president of the ASPCA’s anti-cruelty group. “It’s a priority for the ASPCA to eradicate dog fighting, and we are grateful for the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI and other law enforcement agencies for taking this issue seriously and working with us to rescue these dogs living in isolation on heavy chains and give them the second chance they deserve.”

The dogs will be cared for at the temporary shelter until custody is determined by the court.

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