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Reward offered for information on dog fighting by Sheriff's
A heavy chain holds a skinny and scarred dog found at a Midway area residence during a drug raid. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
Both the Long and Liberty county sheriff's departments see a potential problem arising in the area -- dog fighting.
"It is a bigger problem than most people realize, and we know it's going on around here," Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles said.
According to Nobles, no arrests have taken place in Long County, but there are several areas being monitored as possible fight sites.
"We have heard several rumors that it is taking place. The problem is in locating where it is," Nobles said.
Liberty County Sheriff Don Martin concurred that locating a dogfight ring is difficult, but should one be found, his department would be aggressive in dealing with it.
"It's a cruel sport, and we won't tolerate it at all," Martin said.
According to Multi Agency Crack Enforcement team Commander Al Cato, on Feb. 29 the Liberty/Long MACE Drug Task Force made a drug arrest in Midway and there was evidence linked to dogfighting at the residence.
Cato said the arrest took place at a home on Isle of Wight Road, which was initially being investigated for suspicion of illegal drugs. "There were the remains of 13 dogs found. The dogs that were alive were scarred up and in bad shape. It was obvious that they had been involved in dog fighting," Cato said.
The commander added, "We charged the suspect with drug charges, but because we didn't actually catch anyone while a dog fight was going on, he could only be charged with cruelty to animals."
According to Cato, there is strong evidence to support that dog fighting is going on in the area, but he too said that locating it is a problem.
"We know to some extent it is going on in the area, but the problem is that it takes place out in areas where you can never find it," Cato said. "Also the people who put it together usually move from location to location."
According to Noble and Martin, the Georgia Sheriff's Association has established a reward of up to $5,000 for any credible information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dog fighting.
Georgia sheriffs receive training on the violent culture of dog fighting at the annual Fall Training Conference in Savannah in November.
According to Nobles, the training covered profiles of dog fighters, fighting dog characteristics, and investigation techniques.
If anyone has any information regarding the location of any dog fighting, the training of any dogs for fighting, or any other information where there is a suspicion of dog fighting, they are urged to contact one of the sheriffs' departments. The information will be in the confidence.
The Long County department can be reached at 545-2118 and Liberty's number is 876-2131.
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