Pit Bulls Seized in Monroe County
LONDON TOWNSHIP, MI -- Animal cruelty investigators in Monroe County
have seized 17 pit bulls. Officials say the dogs were abused and may
have been part of a large dog-fighting operation.
The pits were taken Sunday night behind a home on Plank Road in London
Township. Tucked away in wooded backyard are a bunch of blue, 35-gallon
plastic barrels. Animal cruelty investigators say the barrels were homes
for 17 pit bulls.
Acting on a tip, agents found the dogs Sunday in rainy and muddy
conditions. "That wasn't even anchored to the ground in order for the
dog to get into it with the wet and the mud. The barrels were moving
around. The dogs couldn't even get in. When they did get in, they could
hardly turn around," said Linda Benson of the Monroe County Animal Control.
All of the dogs were confiscated and are now staying in kennels as
possible evidence. Detectives say scarring and bite marks could be
indicators of illegal dog-fighting.
Agents also found treadmills, weighted collars and medications which may
have been used to train the pit bulls. "The various items that we
observed there made the whole situation questionable," said Benson.
But Harriet Crawford, who has been caring for the dogs while the owner
is in prison, says there were no injuries on the pit bulls until after
animal control took them away.
"They're lying. There was no proof of no dog fights. When they took
those dogs from here, there wasn't a mark on them and I wish I had the
pictures to show you. If I would have known any of this was going to
happen, I would have taken a picture of every last one of them," said
Crawford also says she gave the dogs rice, potatoes, dog food and water
every day for the past two weeks. She admits the barrels are not ideal
for the dogs, but it was the best she could do.
"Well, that's all we could do, you know, we bought houses for them. We
was trying to get more, but like I said, it's coming out of our pocket
and I know I don't look rich, not at all, but I do care for the animals
... I do," said Crawford.
Monroe County detectives, along with Animal Control, continue to
investigate. Charges are pending.
Crawford moved out of that Monroe County home today. Michigan law
requires licenses for all dogs older than four months. None of the dogs
seized on Sunday had a license.
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