Local News

Animal Control Officers Remove 19 Pit Bulls From Durham House

Posted April 19, 2005 5:38 a.m. EDT

— Durham County Animal Control is investigating a possible case of cruelty after officers seized almost 20 pit bulls from one house.

Officials say the 19 pit bulls had been roaming around a small house on West Knox Street.

The dogs' owner, Clifton Wimbish, is in jail on drug charges. He surrendered the dogs on Monday.

After Wimbish surrendered the dogs, it became clear to Cindy Bailey, director of the Durham County Animal Control, that no one took care of the dogs,

"Some [adult] dogs had cuts from recent fighting," said Bailey. "Some of the puppies had scars indicating they had been confined and were fighting."

An animal shelter filled to capacity, as well as the condition of the dogs, gave animal control no option but to put the dogs to sleep.

"It makes me angry for the dogs, and it makes me angry for the community," said Bailey.

In previous instances when animal control came to the house, the dogs' owner was in compliance with county ordinances. There was nothing it could do.

Neighbors said they have complained about the house for years.

"When you've got those kinds of pit bulls chained up in the back yard, you start to worry about them attacking other animals, children or elderly people taking a stroll," Bailey said.

Police believe Wimbish used the dogs to help fund illegal activities. They think the house was just a meeting place for drug sales.

Officials say police and emergency workers have been called to the house a combined total of 82 times in the past five years for dog complaints, drug problems and other issues.

Although Wimbish has not been charged with anything, animal control is still investigating.