This one hits a little too close to home. Akron, once known as the Rubber City due to the production of tires, is about 20 miles north of my home. As the tire trade has moved production to countries where cheaper labor is available, Akron has fallen on somewhat hard times. And as in many cities, crime has moved in. In this case, the crime is dog fighting.
The Beacon-Journal has been reporting over the last week or so, the horrible abuse and cruelty discovered 10 days ago in West Akron by investigators from the Akron Police Department, the Federal Marshall’s office, and the FBI.
While the dogs fought in the garage, people relaxed on the lawn and ate barbecue from an impromptu concession stand set up in the back yard. (Why does this make me think of the scene in Fried Green Tomatoes where they got rid of the body by mixing it into the barbecue?)
Authorities seized $52,000 and arrested 47 people from several different states. Although smaller dog fighting operations have been found over the years, it’s generally tough to prosecute unless authorities actually see the fights while they are going on. In this case, several law enforcement agencies collaborated and acted on several tips in order to catch the group in action.
A fight between two dogs was still going on when authorities arrived. These two pit bull mixes were taken for medical treatment. In addition, five more dogs, at least two of whom had recent injuries indicative of fighting, were taken from cars on the property. One dog was taken from a pen surrounding the fight ring. All eight are in the care of a shelter and are expected to make a full recovery.
Three days later, authorities were called to a nearby home, where two dead dogs and six still living were found in deplorable conditions, the nearby home abandoned. The two dead had wounds believed to have resulted from fighting. Two of the dogs were running loose inside the garage, while four were caged. They had no food or water and were covered in feces.
Both sets of dogs are said to be friendly. It is hoped they may all be rehabilitated to allow for adoption.
With so many arrests in the case, authorities are asking those who hear dogs barking or making noise at abandoned or vacant properties to please report their presence so the dogs can be treated and re-homed.
With any luck at all, the charges against all 47 people will be substantiated, and they will be punished with LONG sentences.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!