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The second largest dog-fighting ring in U.S. history has been raided and 12 arrests have been made across the states of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Texas.
Agencies have been investigating this chain of dog-fighters for three years, which is what finally led to the bust and rescue of 367 pit bulls. Most of the dogs were found starving and living in horrible conditions, many of them very ill or wounded.
“The dogs, ranging in age from just several days to 10-12 years, had been left to suffer in extreme heat with no visible fresh water or food,” the ASPCA said in a statement, Christian Science Monitor reports. “Many are emaciated with scars and wounds consistent with dog fighting, and some were tethered by chains and cables that were attached to cinder blocks and car tires.”
The rescued pit bulls were taken to the ASPCA or temporary shelters.
The suspects face charges related to dog fighting and gambling. Each charge can face up to five years in prison because dog fighting is a felony in the U.S.
According to Daily Mail, authorities also found drugs, guns, and over $500,000 in cash.
The owners allegedly made up to $200,000 in bets each fight.