Most dogs likely adoptable after rescued from alleged dog fight - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Most dogs likely adoptable after rescued from alleged dog fight ring


We're still waiting to see who will be charged after authorities found what they call a dog fighting operation. They made the discovery while serving a drug warrant Friday at a home on Talladega Avenue in Chattanooga.

The TBI charged Jackie Sawyer, 43, with three drug offenses after the raid.

We're learning Sawyer has a lengthy criminal record, with more than a dozen charges relating to assault, weapons and drugs since 1996. But nothing relating to dog fighting.

We can report some good news though, most of the dogs involved in the raid will be able to find new homes.

The twelve dogs rescued are now safe at the McKamey Animal Center. Staff members say nine dogs and three puppies are friendly, affectionate and likely adoptable. All are pit bulls except for one, and all are female except for two of the pups.

"When there are this many females and puppies in a situation like this, it's likely that these were the breeding dogs and not necessarily the fighting dogs," said Tricia Sebes, McKamey Animal Center's animal care coordinator.

McKamey is working to treat and save a few of the dogs that have heart worm, which they likely caught when they were forced to live outside.

Officials said a house with many dogs chained up outside should be a sign to neighbors that a dog fighting operation is taking place. They said dog fighting isn't just big city crime, and people need to report any suspicions.

"It actually has become popular in a lot of smaller areas. People don't notice. Just like this one, the neighbors really didn't notice that this was going on. You know, if we're going to push back against crime in our neighborhoods, then the neighbors need to start paying attention to what's going on," said McKamey Animal Center Executive Director Karen Walsh.

If the dog fighting allegations hold true, these dogs narrowly escaped a deadly fate. McKamey officials said they hope people won't be afraid to give these dogs a forever home just because of their breed.

"Often times pit bulls are used in fighting situations because they're so loyal to their owners, that they will do anything for their owners," Sebes said.

To dog fighters, that could be fighting to the death.

Sebes said typically, a pit bull's loyalty means unconditional love and affection for its family.

The rescued dogs will start to be adopted out near the end of next week. Some might take a little longer depending on their behavior and medical needs.

Original story: Dog fighting ring found in local home, man facing drug charges

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