Staked to the ground with 3-foot logging chains around their necks, pit bull dogs used for fighting were seized Wednesday from a wooded area in Box Springs, Ga.
“One or two appear to be recently in a fight with the scars we’ve seen on their faces,” said Phil Gallacher, of Norred & Associates, a private corporate security firm that received a tip about the pit bulls.
Maj. Jeff Sivell, an investigator with the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, said warrants would be issued for Terry Monds charging him with dog fighting and cruelty to animals. About 26 dogs ranged from puppies to fully grown pit bulls.
Volunteers from the Atlanta Humane Society and the Georgia SPCA, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, were on the scene to rescued the dogs, examine them and transport them to an undisclosed facility in Columbus until the animals can be adopted.
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The scene brought back memories for Joan Sammond, executive director of the SPCA who received three pit bulls that belonged to NFL quarterback Michael Vick. The former Atlanta Falcons player was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy and running dog fighting operation. He served 18 months of a 23-month federal prison sentence and recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. “We don’t like to see this but you know the Michael Vick thing brought awareness to the attention of the public,” Sammond said. “People are now more aware and helpful in tipping us and law enforcement when they see things suspicious. We’ve got a lot of work to do in Georgia. We’ve got a lot of animal abuse with dog fighting.”
The dogs displayed the typical behavior of animals kept for fighting, she said. They became aggressive near other dogs but not violent toward people.
“They may not be suitable to be around other animals but for humans they are fine,” Sammond said. “People get the notion that a pit bull is going to be aggressive toward people and animals but that is not the case. Humans have to handle these animals. They want them aggressive toward other animals and that is what they train them to do.”