AUSTIN (KXAN) - Two hundred dogs seized and dozens of people arrested acrossTexas, in what authorities are calling, "the largest dogfightingrings in the country." The illegal dog fighting ring spanned acrossthree counties and was based out of Harris County. It stretchedfrom Matagorda to Tyler.
"What you see is animals bloodied and battered, bruised andscreaming in pain," said Belinda Smith, Harris County AssistantDistrict Attorney. "You have animals that are staggering in thering, other animals who are trying to climb out of the ring."
Ernest Samudio, a spokesperson for Action for Animals saidSunday that dogfighting rings are more common than people think.Even in Austin it is a problem, but not everyone running the ringshas been caught. "It's very horrible," said Samudio. "And, wheneverwe hear about it, we like to let our members know that this isstill happening and that it's not isolated."
In all, 55 people were indicted after a 17 month undercoverinvestigation into an illegal dog fighting ring where gamblerswould put anywhere from $500 to $1,000 down on matches. Animalwelfare groups are taking care most of the 187 dogs that wereseized, but ultimately, a judge will decide the fate of theanimals. Authorities said most of the dogs will have to beeuthanized, which is why Action for Animals is calling on lawmakersto stiffen penalties for crimes like this.
"Most of these animals, if not all of them, are going to be putto sleep," said Samudio. "Because it's enormously difficult torehabilitate them and get them adopted. Most of the time, theycan't be rehabilitated."
State troopers also found firearms, marijuana, cocaine andstolen property. However, the suspects are only being charged withengaging in dogfights, a felony that could cost them up to twoyears in prison.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.
The Austin City Council is set to vote Thursday on design changes for the Auditorium Shores Dog Park.
Bryce Petty threw touchdown passes on the first two drives of the second half for No. 9 Baylor and the Bears won their first Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl berth with a 30-10 victory over No. 23 Texas on Saturday.