ATLANTA – Federal agents seized 63 dogs after discovering blood-stained carpet at the site of a suspected dogfighting operation in rural Georgia.
State troopers pulled over four vehicles March 17 and found a pit bull covered in blood, federal prosecutors said in court papers. The driver admitted to having just attended a dog fight in a remote part of Dodge County, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta, authorities said.
Agents searched the scene and found 55 pit bull dogs staked to the ground with heavy chains and with no access to food.
They also found four "grave areas" and the buried bodies of five dogs.
Prosecutors said 40 percent of the dogs had scars on their faces and legs. They also said that some of the dogs were pregnant.
Agents with the Oconee County Regional Drug Task Force had gotten a tip that a dog fight was planned somewhere in Dodge County around 9 p.m. March 17. Law enforcement officers were on the lookout and had been patrolling country roads in the area when they pulled the vehicles over, authorities said.
Six Georgia men and one South Carolina man are facing dog fighting-related charges, Dodge County jail records show. The records do not list attorneys for them.
Dog fights are typically staged for entertainment or gambling, prosecutors said.
"Fights usually end when one dog withdraws, when a handler 'picks up' his dog and forfeits the match, or when one or both dogs die," prosecutors wrote in their complaint seeking a warrant to seize the dogs.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine called the activity "a barbaric spectacle that has no place in any civilized society."