Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
STATE RADARINTERACTIVE RADARWEATHER ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE
Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
MONTGOMERY, Ala. —The Humane Society of the United States and The ASPCA®
(The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at
the request of the United States Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, assisted in seizing 367 dogs in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia
in what is believed to be the second-largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.
After a three-year investigation initiated by
the Auburn Police, 13 search warrants were executed Friday morning, Aug.
23, throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. Ten
suspects were arrested and indicted on felony dog fighting charges.
Federal and local officials also seized firearms and drugs, as well as
more than $500,000 in cash from dog fighting gambling activities that took
place over the course of the investigation. Remains of dead animals were also
discovered on some properties where dogs were housed and allegedly fought. If
convicted, defendants could face up to five years in prison, as well as fines
ASPCA and The HSUS responders helped manage
the removal and transport of the dogs to temporary emergency shelters in
undisclosed locations. Responders are also providing veterinary care and
behavior enrichment to the dogs, which are estimated to range in age from just
several days to 10-12 years. Both groups also assisted authorities with
collecting forensic evidence to be submitted for prosecution.
Conditions of the dogs varied, but one
veterinarian commented on the large number of the dogs that appeared emaciated.
In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90 degree
heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the
property. Some appeared to have no access to water at all, and many exhibited
wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dog fighting.
Makeshift, filthy dog houses—many improvised from plastic and metal
barrels and others made of chipboard with rotting wood floors and rusted metal
roofing—provided the only shelter in the sweltering heat and humidity. Some
dogs pulled at chains and cables that were tethered to cinder blocks and car
tires. A female dog did her best to tend to six puppies, just weeks old, with
no food or water, in a pen littered with trash and feces.
"We are committing to eradicating dog fighting
in every dark corner where it festers," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO
of The HSUS. "This series of raids reminds every dogfighter that they are not
beyond the law and their day of reckoning will come."
"Today we ended the torture of hundreds of
abused and neglected dogs," said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the
ASPCA. "Never again will these dogs be forced to fight, live in squalor, or be
neglected and deprived of the bare necessities. The ASPCA is extremely grateful
to federal and local authorities who pursued this widespread investigation for
so long, and we are happy to lend our assistance."
"These defendants were betting between $5,000
and $200,000 on one dog fight," stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr..
"The number of dogs seized and the amount of money involved this in case
shows how extensive this underworld of dog fighting is. These dog
fighters abuse, starve and kill their dogs for the supposed ‘fun' of watching
and gambling on a dog fight. Their behavior is deplorable, will not be
tolerated, and will be punished to the full extent of the law."
"The sheer number of dogs seized speaks
volumes as to the inhumane and violent abuse of animals associated with the
illegal practices of drug activity afflicting our communities," stated Stephen
Richardson, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Mobile Division.
"This is a great example of federal, state,
and local agencies working together to make communities safer," stated Paul
Register, Auburn Police Division Chief. "It is not just about the
egregious act of dog fighting itself, but the other criminal activity that is
affiliated with it. It is important that local law enforcement, such as the
Auburn Police Division, work together with other agencies to address crimes
that affect the entire country."
Agencies assisting the ASPCA and The HSUS with
the operation include: Florida State Animal Response Coalition and Sumter
Disaster Animal Response Team (Bushnell, Fla.); University of Florida
(Gainesville); Humane Society of South Mississippi (Gulfport); International
Fund for Animal Welfare (Yarmouth Port, Mass.); Asheville Humane Society
(Asheville, N.C.); Charleston Animal Society (Charleston, S.C.); Louisiana SPCA
(New Orleans); American Humane Association (Washington, D.C.); Greater
Birmingham Humane Society (Birmingham, Ala.); Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta,
Ga.); PetSmart Charities (Phoenix, Ariz.); Code 3 Associates (Longmont, Colo.);
and Montgomery Humane Society (Montgomery, Ala.).
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and
the District of Columbia. Additional illegal activities are often connected
with dog fighting, such as drug and weapons violations. Earlier this year, the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act was reintroduced in the U.S. Congress, which would
make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and impose
additional penalties for bringing a minor to a fight. The HSUS and ASPCA
support legislation to strengthen the federal and state animal fighting
statutes, and regularly assist local, state and federal authorities on dog
fighting investigations and raids across the country.
In July 2009, the ASPCA and The HSUS, along
with numerous federal and local agencies, participated in a multi-state dog
fighting raid, the largest federal crackdown on dog fighting in U.S. history,
resulting in the rescue of over 500 dogs. The eight-state raid, launched by
federal and local agencies, spanned Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma,
Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi and resulted in more than 100 arrests.
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the
first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's
leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's
mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals
throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the
ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and
animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org,
and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
About the HSUS
The Humane Society of the United States is the
nation's largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by
its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all
animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care
for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to
prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America
and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – on the Web
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>