- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Sheriffs in two Mississippi counties say they have found dogfighting operations that included animals that were mutilated, malnourished and chained to trees.

One operation is in Adams County, in the southwestern corner of the state. The other is in central Mississippi’s Madison County, where four men were arrested.

Sheriff Travis Patten told the Natchez Democrat that about three dozen pit bulls were found at the operation in what could be Adams County’s largest animal abuse case.

He said some of the dogs’ legs were bitten off. One was missing its lower jaw. Some dead dogs were in plain sight, unburied.

“You have a boneyard out here in plain view,” Patten said. “They didn’t have the decency to bury the dogs.”

Adams County authorities were looking for Tommie Queen, the man listed as the owner of the 2-acre (0.81 hectares) property. Patten said he intends to bring charges against anyone involved in dogfighting. An organization from another part of the state was called in to assess the animals.

Discovery of the dogs in Adams County on Monday came as the Madison County sheriff said four men had been arrested Saturday and 32 dogs were seized in a dogfighting operation there.

A Madison County Sheriff’s Department news release said deputies received a tip about dogfighting, and deputies found two dogs surrounded by four men who were encouraging them to fight.

Three mother dogs, 15 puppies and 14 adult dogs were seized. Authorities said the animals suffered from malnourishment and some didn’t have access to water.

At least two dogs were taken to the Animal Emergency & Referral Center for emergency treatment.

Authorities arrested HB Preyer III, 37; Maurice Greenwood, 39; Derrick L. Mack, 37, and Michael Brown, 36. Each faces at least one dogfighting charge. It was not immediately clear if they have lawyers.

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