Thursday, March 12, 2009

HSUS Dogfighting Tip Line Busts in GA - Where are the Dogs?

December 29, 2008:
The HSUS’ animal fighting tip line was first established in the wake of the Michael Vick case so Georgia residents can easily report illegal animal fighting to authorities. Since its inception in January 2008, the Georgia tip line has received more than 1,000 calls, leading to seven raids and 11 arrests.
And the seizure of at least 92 dogs. My question is: Does anyone know what happened to these 92 seized dogs?

March 2008

The dogs —11 adults and five puppies— were seized this week by members of the Marietta-Cobb-Smyrna Organized Crime Intelligence Unit, Cobb police and animal control officers. Two men, Michael Sweeney, 45, and Erik Vann, 28, have been charged with 16 felony counts of dog fighting.

The tip that led to their arrests came through a toll-free number established in January by Greg Norred, founder of the Atlanta private security firm Norred & Associates.

"I'm just passionate about animal rights," Norred said.


He started the phone line with the Humane Society of the United States, which offers an award of up to $5,000 to callers whose tips lead to a conviction.

Does anyone know what happened to these 16 dogs?

July 2008

The Appalachian Circuit District Attorney's office raided Mountain Swamp Kennels in Blue Ridge on Thursday morning, finding 22 pit bulls along with three dogfighting pits and "suspected dogfighting paraphernalia."
Information regarding White's kennels was initially provided to the Humane Society through its tip line, established by Norred & Associates in the wake of the Michael Vick dogfighting case. The tipster will receive $5,000 if White is convicted.
Does anyone know what happened to these 22 dogs?

Johnny Stewart Johnson Jr. is charged with eight counts of felony dogfighting, said Capt. Mike Benner of the Madison County Sheriff's Office - one count for each of the seven pit bulls deputies seized Thursday morning and one count for having dogfighting paraphernalia.
Benner said Thursday's raid was the culmination of a two-month investigation into Shake Down Kennels. The investigation began when officials with the Humane Society of the United States called the Madison County Sheriff's Office about an anonymous tip the society had received.
We know that the dog owner was granted the return of one of the dogs but authorities quickly changed their minds in February 2009:

Madison County authorities again have seized a pitbull from a Danielsville man accused of dog fighting, overruling a citizen board's recent decision to return the dog to its owner until he goes to trial.

The county government confiscated seven dogs at Johnny Stewart Johnson's Shake Down Kennels on July 3, but the newly formed Madison County Animal Control Board voted in December to let Johnson have one of his dogs back.

The board's decision drew the ire of the Humane Society, which had investigated Johnson's operation for two months before the raid.

Does anyone know what happened to these 7 dogs?

August 2008

A Gilmer County, Georgia man faces charges in connection with an alleged dog fighting operation.


Officers seized 11 dogs, some with scars consistent with fighting.

Information was first provided to the Humane Society of the U-S via its tip line[...]

Does anyone know what happened to these 11 dogs?

October 2008
In Canton, Cherokee County deputies detained Randall Thaxton, 44, after a morning raid turned up “a significant pit bull breeding operation.” Roughly 30 miles north, Gilmer County officials arrested Ray Beavers, of Ellijay, for his reported involvement in the same dogfighting ring.

Two other Gilmer men may also face charges, said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues with the Humane Society of the United States.

“We believe they’ve been involved for years,” he said.

The three raids Tuesday turned up 30 pit bulls, all of whom had scars consistent with dogfighting, said Greg Norred, who does the bulk of the investigative work on dogfighting — gratis — for the Humane Society.


Information leading to the latest arrests was provided to the Humane Society through its tip line, established in the wake of the Michael Vick dogfighting case.

Does anyone know what happened to these 30 dogs?

December 2008
A Floyd County man has been charged with felony dogfighting and misdemeanor cruelty to animals after six pit bulls were seized by animal control on Dec. 23, police said.
Police were notified by Floyd County Animal Control officers who had been called to the scene at 51 Jones Road. An agent of a private investigations firm, hired by the Humane Society, had done surveillance of the residence after he received a tip about possible dogfighting at the Jones Road address.
Does anyone know what happened to these 6 dogs?

Are these 92 dogs still alive? Who are the legal owners of these dogs? To my knowledge, no convictions have been made in connection with these cases so perhaps the dogs are still being held as evidence. Is the HSUS contacting authorities involved with the cases to advise them about their new "interim" policy recommending individual evaluations for seized dogs?

1 comment:

Joe woodall said...

randall thaxtons dogs are still alive,and after over a year they still have not indicted him or took him to court.thsi is nothing but a bunch of bull shit. i am the guy in gilmer county i got my dogs back after two months,and belive me they were in horriable shape but still alive thank god now safe at home.I am joe woodall from gilmer county.go watch the videos where i raid there place. on you tube joe raids gilmer county animal control