31 dogs removed from suspected dogfighting ring - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

31 dogs removed from suspected Tallapoosa Co. dogfighting ring

TALLAPOOSA CO., AL (WSFA) -

A home on Highway 22 East in New Site near Alex City was one of three locations in Tallapoosa County authorities say dog fighting took place.

"It was a breeding ground and where they held fights," said New Site Police Chief John McKelvey.

McKelvey says it's not unheard of for gamblers to make as much as $80,000 per night per fight.

Chief District Attorney for the 5th Circuit Damon Lewis says it's one of the worst cases in recent memory.

"It definitely ranks up there in the top five," Lewis said.

Authorities say the investigation started two years ago. Starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, police along the U.S. Humane Society rescued 31 pit bulls at all three locations.

Brittany Caldwell says she's related to one of the suspects and denied anything bad happened next door.

"This is a bunch of bullcrap. He loved his dogs and took care of them," Caldwell said.

It's not clear whether any of the 31 dogs will survive because many of them were found in really bad shape.

"There were dogs that were chained, no access to food or water and many had clear marks you would expect in a dog fight such as scratches and bites," said Janette Reever, Deputy Manager for the U.S. Humane Society Fighting Response Team.

The dogs are being housed at an undisclosed location outside of Tallapoosa County. Authorities expect to make additional arrests.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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