- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - At least some of the animals rescued from a dog-fighting organization might be available for adoption.

The more than 150 doges seized earlier this month as part of the investigation are being treated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The News & Observer of Raleigh (https://bit.ly/2h9NhXX) reported.

Authorities arrested 10 men Dec. 6-7 on charges of dog fighting and selling drugs in the Onslow County area.

Society spokesman Emily Schneider says the organization does not yet have legal custody of the dogs. But she says the organization normally treats the dogs medically and does a series of assessments to determine if they are suitable for adoption. The society then works with rescue groups and other animal welfare organizations to find homes for those dogs.

“Our goal is ultimately to place these animals as quickly as possible,” Schneider said.

Schneider said it’s unclear how long it could take to work with other animal organizations to place the dogs for adoption. Part of the goal is to help the dogs became comfortable around people.

“Generally, these dogs live in isolation,” Schneider said. “They don’t get a lot of interaction with humans. A lot of times these dogs are fearful.”

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Don Connelly says some of the dogs might be needed for evidence in the trial of the suspects.

Seven of the men are charged with conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act. One was charged with a misdemeanor for attending two dog fights. The other three men face drug charges.

The federal Animal Welfare Act makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison to fight dogs or to possess, train, sell, buy, deliver, receive or transport dogs intended for use in dog fighting.

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Information from: The News & Observer, https://www.newsobserver.com


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