Two Wanted For Animal Abuse Now Face More Charges
Posted July 24, 2006 10:21 a.m. EDT
VANCE COUNTY, N.C. — A Vance County woman and Wake County man charged with misdemeanor animal abuse now face more serious charges.
Investigators now consider Lawanda Rasland and Mark Davis fugitives because they failed to surrender to authorities. The two are wanted in connection with a three-year investigation in which 17 dogs were seized -- most of them pit-bulls that showed signs of battle scars and malnutrition.
"I personally believe they were breeding the dogs and raising them for people that were fighting," said Alex Hargrave with Vance County Animal Control. "We've gotten several phone calls on this incident that they were taking dogs to Georgia for fighting."
Dog owners reported their pit bulls stolen and told investigators they might have been stolen to be used for fighting purposes.
The dogs were kept in several locations in Vance County and moved to avoid detection. Some of the more vicious dogs were moved out as Animal Control prepared to move in on the alleged operation.
"But there are 20-plus dogs that have been moved, and according to a neighbor, they were moved in the cover of night the day before we served the warrants," Hargrave said.
The entire investigation started with a tip about the abuse.
If Ragland and Davis surrender or they are captured, they will have to appear in court Aug. 14. At that court hearing, people who have had their dogs stolen will have a chance to claim their pets, with the proper paperwork.