MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota law enforcement has recovered 15 pit bulls, dog fighting manuals, guns, drugs and paraphernalia after executing 10 search warrants at addresses connected to a suspected dog fighter.
On Wednesday, officers from Minneapolis Animal Care & Control, the Minneapolis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies executed the search warrants at nine addresses in Minneapolis and one in New Hope. No officers or dogs were injured during the operation.
One of the rescued dogs, who authorities say was the leader of the pack, was at the press conference Wednesday afternoon. Part of his ear was bitten off and his eye was injured.
Investigators say the dogs – five of them puppies – were recovered from eight Minneapolis homes, where conditions were tough.
"They're in a kennel. They're chained up. Most of them are on a dirt surface. Some had feces in the kennel area. Most of them did not have water. I did not locate food in most of the kennels," said Sgt. Lindsay Herron of the Minneapolis Animal Care & Control.
The dogs are currently being cared for by Minneapolis Animal Care & Control.
The suspected dog fighter was arrested and is now in custody at the Hennepin County Jail awaiting charges.
"Dog fighters have just gotten a lot smarter"
Erin Ring, of Midwest Animal Rescue, sees the fighting from a different perspective.
"We have a lot of dog fighting in the Cities, the dog fighters have just gotten a lot smarter," she said.
She added: "So a lot of times when you get them in rescue, not only are they covered in scars and ripped apart, they're emaciated, they're weak, they're scared to death of people and every single noise and thing."
Her organization sees mostly bait dogs, the more timid pups used for training the strong fighters.
"They are very loving with people," she said. "It's just sometimes they need to be in an only dog home."
So why is dog fighting so popular? Sgt. Herron says those participating can net $15,000 a fight.
The dogs are at Minneapolis Animal Care & Control and will be as the legal process goes forward, so they are not up for adoption. But if you want to help, you can donate to Minneapolis Animal Care & Control.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to text information to 847 411 (Tip 411), enter MPD and the tip or call the tipline at 612-692-TIPS (8477).
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