Six Pit Bulls Seized

10:26 PM, Aug 19, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- A confidential tip led to a bust of an alleged dog fighting ring in Southeast Washington. Neighbors are stunned, not just because of the alleged crime, but because they say they've been complaining for years to the DC Department of Health.

The Washington Humane Society was the lead agency on this investigation, but the seized pit bulls are not being housed at the WHS shelter. They are in a safe location outside of DC That's important because investigators say the people involved in dog-fighting are violent and will go to extreme measures to get their dogs back.

Six pit bulls, including four puppies, were taken away by animal abuse investigators. Backed by the DC Police Department, they served a high-risk search warrant at a home in Southeast Washington.

"The condition the dogs were being kept in was horrible. There was a small cage, much too small for three puppies. Feces and urine all over the place," said Scott Giacoppo, of the Washington Humane Society.

"The condition they were living in would break anyone's heart. Puppies with sores, the condition they were in, no animal should live like that," said Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Neighbors say they have long complained to the D.C. Department of Health about animal waste at the residence, but nothing was ever done.

"As long as we had the manure in the community, we would always have rats. It's way before now that they already knew we were having problems with the pit bulls," said Olivia Henderson, who lives nearby.

Others were shocked that the house with two security cameras and a family with at least four children, including a newborn baby, was the apparent site of a dog-fighting operation.

"It shocked me. They tell me they having fights. I never known that. I never seen it," said Amelia Kirkland, another neighbor.

"It's kind of a shock because you would not expect to find that situation in a house around here," said Thomasina Kirkland.

"Maybe now people can be at peace," said Henderson, "all the way to the mailman."

No one has been taken into custody yet. In addition to the dogs, several items were seized from the house, including the hard drive of the homeowner's computer.

Written by Andrea McCarren
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

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