Local News

Eleven Pit Bulls May Be Euthanized After Involvement In Dogfighting Ring

Posted January 1, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Eleven pit bulls are sitting in a Durham County animal shelter after police busted a dogfighting ring.

The dogs are living in cages usually reserved for dogs available for adoption, but the pit bulls, scarred and still sore from fresh fight wounds, may never be anyone's pet.

"These dogs will be held at the Durham County animal shelter until the court case, and the court will ultimately decide the fate of the dogs whether they go back to the owners or if they are euthanized," says Susan Teer, director of the animal shelter.

An anonymous tip led Durham County sheriff deputies to the property of Darryl Wilson on Snow Hill Road in north Durham County Saturday morning. Lt. C. R. Vaughan says dog fights may be frequent, but proving that the fights happened makes arrests rare.

"I've been here 16 years, and in the past 16 years, I have had a couple of calls where dogfights are in progress, and by the time we got there, there was nothing to be found, not even a person," he says. "This is the first time we have been able to see the fight in progress and arrest anyone."

All 15 men, including Wilson, posted bond and await trial. Meanwhile, the dogs take up valuable space at the shelter.

"It really burdens the shelter because we were already over capacity, so with all of these dogs, that came into the shelter, we have had to put the adoptable dogs in the outside kennels in the cold weather," Teer says.

Participating in a dog fight is considered a Class H felony. Conviction could bring jail time or probation, depending on prior criminal records.