Representatives from a local animal organization helped federal officials in the second largest dog-fighting raid in United States history, according to Animal Lifeline in Warrington.
Animal Lifeline assisted officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney's Office in rescuing 367 dogs from sites in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. The operation was conducted in late August.
Animal Lifeline deployed five Bucks County disaster responders and transport trailers as part of the rescue team. The teams removed and transported the dogs to temporary shelters, helped collect forensic evidence and provided veterinary care.
Representatives of the organization gave accounts of the harrowing conditions the dogs faced.
“In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90-degree heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the property,” according to information from Animal Lifeline. “Some appeared to have no access to water at all and many exhibited wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dog fighting.”
According to Animal Lifesline, the animals were living in “filthy” conditions.
“Some dogs pulled at chains and cables that were tethered to cinder blocks and car tires. A female dog did her best to tend to six puppies, just weeks old, with no food or water, in a pen littered with trash and feces,” according to information provided by the organization.
Animal Lifeline, an emergency Relief Network partner of The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), was founded in 2006. The organization strives to create humane solutions for animals locally and nationally.
"I am so proud of the IFAW team that worked long hours in three different states to make sure that these dogs will never fight, be forced to breed, or live in these deplorable conditions ever again," said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW disaster response manager.