Friday, April 27, 2007

Fighting Dog-Fighting

This report is straight from the ASPCA website:

ASPCA ASSISTS IN INVESTIGATION FOLLOWING MAJOR DOG FIGHTING RAIDThe ASPCA is proud to be part of a team of animal welfare agencies that participated in a major dog fighting raid by federal authorities earlier this week.

The raid took place simultaneously in Pass Christian, MS, and St. Bernard Parish, LA, and resulted in 45 dogs being seized for examination and evidence. Dr. Melinda Merck, forensic veterinarian with the ASPCA and the premier “Animal CSI” in the country, was part of an elite team including staff from the Louisiana SPCA, the St. Charles Parish Humane Society/Animal Control and the Humane Society of South Mississippi. Merck, who uses her forensic abilities and veterinary training to “sweep” a crime scene and provide evidence to investigators, is currently documenting the medical condition of all the animals seized, and will spend several days with the team preparing evidence. “This is one of the most complete examples of a dog fighting operation that I have ever seen,” says Merck. “Not only are many of the dogs scarred or wounded, the sites were loaded with dog fighting paraphernalia, such as weighing scales, treadmills, chains, weights, and dog-fighting journals—you name it, it was there.”

Merck reports that it took the team 12 hours just to process the scene, and it will also take time to sift through the evidence. “In examining the live dogs, there are clear signs that these puppies and dogs were being kept in extremely neglectful conditions, to say the least—they are thin, and very little dog food was found on the premises.”