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Orange County Dog Fighting Ring is Knocked Out

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HILLSBOROUGH — It is a blood sport that turns man's best friend into a killer. Wednesday, police busted a dog fighting ring in Orange County. The organizers were charged, but the animals who were used as pawns in the violent contests may not have a future.

"For any person who cares about animals to see this life out here that these animals apparently have been living, it is as difficult and disgusting to me as it would be to anybody," said Amanda Graham, who is with the Animal Protection Society.

The site had approximately fifty pit bulls all chained in the dirt. Many were scarred with bite marks and injuries consistent with dog fighting.

"We think that this operation here was for harboring, training and breeding dogs for the purpose of dog fighting," animal control director John Sauls said.

As animal control officers labored through the tough task of loading up the dogs for the animal shelter, deputies gathered evidence for possible felony charges dealing with dog fighting.

The charges are against Glenson Issac, Dwayne Harrigan and Kelvin Brown.

Deputies investigating the dog charges also found three kilos of cocaine at the scene.

Some said that the drug charges pale in comparison to a larger issue.

"I love animals just like you do," Graham said. "To see animals that apparently have scars on them, and appear to have been trained and used for fighting...it make you sick. It makes you absolutely sick."

The dogs are allegedly trained fighters so they are probably unadoptable.

Last December, North Carolina joined the majority of other states in making dog fighting a felony.

The class "I" felony carries a suspended 4-to-6 month sentence for the first offense. A second conviction could mean jail time.

Before the change in the law, dog fighting was only a misdemeanor in North Carolina, which meant that participants were only punished with fines.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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