Following an investigation by the Humane Society of Missouri, on Wednesday morning multiple federal and state agencies, the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) raided properties in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. A source close to the investigation said that "most" of the seized dogs were Pit Bull Terriers.
The simultaneous raids were a triumph of organization, with the Humane Society of Missouri, Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney all being involved in the execution of the raids. In addition, the ASPCA®, United Animal Nations and PetSmart Charities® were already pre-prepared to assist in rescuing and sheltering the rescued animals. For more than a month, these organizations have been transporting equipment and emergency kenneling for hundreds of dogs to locations near to where the raids were scheduled to take place.
"This intervention is a momentous victory in our ongoing battle to end the cruel, criminal dog fighting industry," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States thanks the USDA Office of Inspector General and the Humane Society of Missouri for their commitment to eradicating this nationwide business enterprise that thrives off the pain and suffering of dogs. With each raid we get one step closer to ending this cruel blood sport."
The ASPCA® is collecting evidence for the criminal cases that will arise through it’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit. The CSI unit brings both state-of-the-art forensics tools and expertise to crime scenes and is outfitted with medical equipment tailored for animal patients. Dogs which have been rescued will be cared for by expert veterinarians and their behavior evaluated by animal behavior experts to determine if they are suitable to be placed in permanent homes.
"The ASPCA is determined to protect its nation’s pets from dog fighting and other forms of brutality," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "Animal cruelty cannot be tolerated, and we are proud to lend our support to federal and local agencies to ensure that these abusers are brought to justice."