Dogs under evaluation after rescue from Nashville dog fighting - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Dogs under evaluation after rescue from Nashville dog fighting

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Thirty-eight dogs were rescued from a suspected dog fighting operation in Nashville. Thirty-eight dogs were rescued from a suspected dog fighting operation in Nashville.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An arrest has been made in the case of a suspected dog fighting ring in north Nashville, but many now want to know what will happen to the nearly 40 dogs who were rescued.

The animals that were rescued Tuesday from Pewitt Road are at an undisclosed location, and health department officials said they want to give the dogs an opportunity to get acclimated to their new surroundings after suffering for so long.

The dogs, mostly pit bulls, haven't lived the best of lives.

"These dogs don't deserve this. No animal does," said Leighann Lessiter, who serves as the Tennessee State Director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Many of the dogs, according to those close to the case, were literally forced to fight for their lives.

"These animals don't deserve to suffer at the hands of their owner," Lessiter said.

Lessiter said it is a textbook case of why animal fighting laws in the state should be stricter.

"This is a prime example of why we need to strengthen our laws to deal with people fighting animals," she said.

A bill before the Legislature this session would have increased the penalty for those who watch animal fighting, but it didn't pass.

"It would have also closed a loophole in our law right now that currently allows folks to sell animals for fighting without any penalty," Lessiter said.

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, has fought for seven years to get the bill passed, but it hasn't happened yet.

"My first thought was 'I told you so,' that we should have passed the bill that I carried this year that dealt with animal fighting," Ketron said. "Here's a perfect example of - one week after we adjourn - of things continue to go on. I don't know why I can't convince my colleagues to pass legislation in the state."

As the dogs' owner, 34-year-old Michael Davis, sits in jail on drug charges, no charges have been filed as of yet for the suspected dog fighting ring.

Many are wondering when will the dogs will be available for adoption. Right now, the animals are considered evidence, and a judge will have to release them first.

"When and if the animals are released by the courts, we will work with the Humane Society of the United States to have the animals professionally accessed and work with rescue partners from across the country to have the animals placed," said Rebecca Morris with Metro Animal Care and Control.

In the meantime, donations are coming in by the minute to help care for the animals.

"When cruelty is involved, it just breaks my heart, and this is the least I can do," said Nashville resident Kathy MacLachlan.

Officials with the Humane Society of the United States said they will recommend experts who will evaluate the dogs for temperament and how they interact with people before deciding which ones will be put up for adoption.

If you would like to donate items to help care for the dogs, visit the Metro Animal Care and Control Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MetroAnimalCare.

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