ONLY ON 3: Jackson Co., AL. brothers accused of dog fighting - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: Jackson Co., AL. brothers accused of dog fighting

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JACKSON COUNTY, AL. (WRCB) -- An Alabama man is accused of forcing his dogs to fight.

But, he tells Channel 3, he's innocent.

Investigators in Jackson County seized his ten pit bulls, now he's fighting to get them back.

Hollywood police arrested James Allen and his brother Christopher Allen for using and/or training the dogs for fighting. A third suspect, Richard Humphrey, is charged for hosting the fights on his property.

Hollywood police Chief Jason Helper says he can't go into detail about the evidence collected during the nearly year-long investigation, but says it's strong enough to prosecute this as a dog fighting case. 

The dogs' owner, James Allen, says it's a misunderstanding and he would never abuse his pets in that way.

Allen gave Channel 3 a tour of his property along County Road 36.

"This is my breeding box," Allen says. "I mean, I know it don't look that good, but it keeps my dogs off the ground."

The ten pit bulls are now being held at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

"Why do you want to have ten pit bulls," asks Channel 3.

"I love dogs," replies Allen.

Allen says he was shocked at accusations he trained them to fight.

"I love my dogs," he says. "I raised my dogs. I mean, it's like my kids."

He says there's only been one incident where a dog got off its chain and went after another one.

"The truth be known, no dogs were over here fighting and they never walked up on that, and I just want the public to know that," says Allen.

Hollywood police say he's right, they never 'witnessed' the fighting, but say they have strong evidence his dogs were used in fights nearby on suspect Richard Humphrey's property.

That's where police say they found items consistent with dog fighting rings.

"I mean, I don't know what he was doing, but none of that stuff over here," says Allen.

"Did you ever take your dogs over there," asks Channel 3.

"No. No," replies Allen.

"They had scars around their face, mussel, shoulders," says Dr. Kasandra Garner.

Dr. Kasandra Garner is the vet treating his dogs. She says one had a torn off nose, another had a broken leg.

"Dogs are just being dogs, and they'll do whatever their owners ask them to do because that's just how dogs are, even fight to the death," says Dr. Garner.

Allen argues some injuries are from animal control putting the dogs together in cages and others from weight pulling competitions, which is legal.

"My male could pull from anywhere around 60-75 pounds," says Allen.

Police say that's a common defense in dog fighting cases.

Dr. Garner says it's not a very believable one.

"These are not pulling injuries, no," Dr. Garner says. "Certainly not the crushing on the wrists, those are from jaws clamping down as dogs are pawing at each other and fighting. You don't get them from pulling a cart."

In a civil case, a judge ordered Allen and his brother to pay the vet bill, and they did.

Their criminal case goes to a grand jury in August.

"I'm certainly willing to testify," says Dr. Garner.

"All I want is for these charges to be dropped," Allen says. "These charges are not true, and I just want my dogs back."

Since Allen's pit bulls are evidence in the case, they're not available for adoption.

Allen has to have the police chief escort him to visit them in the shelter.

If convicted on the felony dog fighting charge, Allen faces one to ten years behind bars.

If charges are dropped, he'll get the dogs back.

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