PASQUOTANK COUNTY (WVEC) - A two-year drug investigation in Pasquotank County uncovered a dogfighting operation and ended with 80 dogs being taken from five locations, authorities said Thursday.
"We recovered one dead animal at one property and the investigation continues," Sheriff Randy Cartwright told WVEC.com.
35-year-old Desmond B. White and 37-year-old Maurice Baum face federal drug charges after authorities searched four locations in Elizabeth City earlier this month.
During that time, 45 dogs were removed from three properties in Elizabeth City and one in Camden County, officials said. Also on February 5, items used in fighting, training dogs to fight and medical supplies to treat and enhance a dog in fighting, Sheriff Cartwright noted.
Then, 35 dogs were removed from properties in Perquimans County and Pasquotank County on February 12 and February 13.
The Humane Society of the United States has been helping with that part of the investigation.
"Aggressive investigation of allegations of animal fighting is essential to maintaining community safety and protecting dogs from such gruesome cruelty," said Chris Schindler, manager of Animal Fighting Investigations for The HSUS, "We are grateful for the leadership of the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office and all the agencies involved for their dedication to this case."
"Removing these animals and putting a stop to such cruelty goes even further to maintaining a safer community and protecting the dogs and public. This was a very large operation reaching across many state lines, effects several people and communities," Cartwright said in a news release.
Officials said many of the dogs have scaring and injuries consistent with dog fighting and an emergency shelter has been opened for their car.
The Humane Society took part in two of the raids and is financially supporting their housing and care for the next 30 days until the courts determine the custody of the dogs. This case will now be turned over to the District Attorney's Office and go to the Grand Jury for appropriate charges.
No charges have been filed in the dog fighting investigation.
HSUS says the 80 dogs will be individually evaluated for potential placement with HSUS Dogfighting Rescue Coalition placement partners. PetSmart Charities is providing the necessary food, supplies and enrichment items for the dogs.
For more information, visit WVEC.