FIRST ON 3: Dog fighting ring found in local home; man facing drugs charges
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
State investigators serving a drug warrant found more than they expected at a Chattanooga home Friday afternoon.
Authorities removed piles of evidence from what they say was a dog fighting operation.
It was discovered at a home on Talladega Avenue.
But it's unclear who will face charges and what those charges could be.
There are a lot of questions surrounding the crime, but officials tell Channel 3 the evidence pulled from the home is consistent with dog fighting
TBI agents serving a drug warrant at a home on Talladega Avenue got more than they expected, after they uncover what they say is a dog fighting ring.
The TBI called in the McKamey Animal Center to process the scene.
McKamey officials aren't revealing many details because other agencies are involved.
"Our goal would be to save the animals," McKamey Director Karen Walsh says. "That's our role in this, and so that's what we're doing, and talking about the case can certainly jeopardize the health and safety of the animals, which is something we wouldn't do."
McKamey officers removed 12 dogs of all ages from the home.
They also removed evidence, like heavy chains and kennels.
Another piece of evidence pulled from the house is a dog treadmill. Blood could be seen on the side of the walls. We're told this piece of equipment is very consistent with dog fighting operations.
Evidence that McKamey officials say will play a big role in this case.
"In these types of cases, evidence is very important, documenting what is going on in the scene and anything that looks like it might be evidence," says Walsh.
Channel 3 attempted to talk to people inside the home.
They slammed the door and later had this to say: "We want you to get the f*** out of our face."
Channel 3 spoke with neighbors off camera who say they were unaware of anything illegal happening at the house.
Walsh says this incident should let people know that dog fighting isn't just a big city crime.
"This just doesn't happen in New York or cities that are far away from us," Walsh says. "This happens in Chattanooga, too."
Walsh says there's a chance these dogs could be put up for adoption.
The dogs we saw the officers remove were all on leashes and not pulls.
That's a sign they're not aggressive.
A TBI spokesperson says agents also found five ounces of cocaine in the home.
The TBI has charged 43-year-old Jackie Sawyer with three drug charges.
He has not been charged with dog fighting.
He is currently being booked at the Hamilton County Jail.