Authorities seized the dogs on Tuesday and have made an arrest; officials said they are still determining if there was proof of animal cruelty.
Around 3 p.m. Union County sheriff deputies assisted the Union County Animal Control officers in searching a wooded property, where authorities found 12 pit bulls chained or caged without food or water. The dogs are being kept at the local animal pound.
Authorities saw no rabies tags on any of the found dogs and some had wounds that appeared to be infected, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Most of the injuries were on the dogs’ rears, from prolonged sitting while being malnourished.
“When the dogs have been sitting for a long time and their bones are sticking out, sores start to form,” Animal Control Officer Charles Hartsell said.
Animal control officers have been looking two years for Massey’s dogs and received an anonymous tip two weeks ago on their location.
“We were on top of him and we didn’t even know it, until we saw some of the barrels and a few of the dogs,” he said.
Half of the dogs were chained separately to stakes in groups of three: one group was in the woods near a hog pen, another group was near a swamp, and the rest were found caged in the back of the house, where one was found in a rabbit cage.
Animal control officers found the last dog chained to a stake on the north side of the house with a hog hide dangling from a nearby tree branch; Hartsell called it a “training tool” for dog fighting.
Dogs involved in fighting rings are kept isolated from other dogs, chained out of reach from people or other animals and fighters invest time and money in conditioning their animals, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
|Clearly Jimmy Massey spent all his money|
stuffing his face instead of feeding his dogs.
Walking near the hog pen, Hartsell said this spot was perfect for hiding dogs because heavy foliage and hog noises concealed the pit bulls’ location.
“Back in the woods noise doesn’t travel as easily,” he said.
Pointing at the pen, Hartsell said he found some bones and carcasses behind there, suggesting that some were being fed to the hogs.
(El Dorado News-Times - March 15, 2017)