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Orange County Struggling With Confiscated Dogs

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CHAPEL HILL — The fighting may have stopped after the breakup of a pit bull ring, but the confiscated dogs are causing other problems for Orange County. Its animal shelter was faced with quite a task when asked to make room for the fighting dogs, in addition to the strays it has up for adoption.

As of Friday morning, the shelter was working to make room for the 45 fighting dogs, none of which will be offered for adoption because they were raised to be killers. The pit bulls have to be housed in an area away from the other animals at the shelter, and each has to be in its own pen.

The adoptive strays are being crowded together to make room for the pit bulls, but they may have to make an even bigger sacrifice before it's all over. Because of the crowding, shelter workers may have to euthanize some of the strays sooner than they usually would.

The bottom line is that the law-breaker who raised these fighting dogs has had a huge negative impact on, not only his own dogs, but many others as well.

The shelter must keep the pit bulls until after their owners' court cases is completed. That is taking its toll on the shelter and its workers.

"The one thing I would ask is that people would just be patient with us," said Amanda Graham of the Orange County shelter. "We are handling calls ... our phones have been down for two days, so we don't have our answering system in place and people are getting a little frustrated, I think. I would really just ask people to be patient and understand that we are doing the best we can. We feel confident about being able to provide quality services and we just want people to take a deep breath and work with us."

Graham added that no animal needing help will ever be turned away from the shelter.

The pit bulls' owners are facing cocaine possession charges in addition to felony dog fighting charges. The alleged ringleader posted $45,000 in cash, and walked out of the Orange County jail Thursday night. His two alleged partners had a bond hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The animal shelter is looking for some qualified foster homes for some of the strays they already had when the pit bulls were brought in.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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