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Police: Dogs raised to fight
Nov 04, 2005 12:00 am
October 31, 2005
Police say they have received information the owner of two pit bulldogs found at an empty home – one already dead – was raising the animals for fighting.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said investigators have been told the owner of the two "raises and has previously fought these kinds of dogs."
"We believe that 100 percent," he added.
The dogs were found at an abandoned Trousdale Ferry Pike home Thursday, one apparently dead of malnutrition.
They were discovered after one of the dogs was struck by a car, said Bowen, describing it as "really young and timid."
That dog is in the care of Animal Control workers, who only recently came under fire for allegedly failing to seek immediate aid for a canine seriously injured in a fight in the city's dog pound, leading to a lawsuit by its owner.
The police chief said the injured dog could remain in the pound "for quite some time" for a simple reason – it could become evidence in a criminal case against its owner.
"We would hold until the court gives us instructions on exactly what to do with it," said Bowen, who would not rule out the possibility the animal could possibly be adopted.
"We'd like to see that happen, and we have several organizations and agencies around this area that have worked with us on doing that in the past, but right now we're just concentrating on getting it healthy," he said.
Bowen said the allegation of the dogs' owner known for raising them to fight surfaced as officials were searching for information about the home's most recent occupant. Officers at the scene said it appeared the two dogs had been without food or water for two weeks.
"We're looking for the individual we believe owned them as we speak," the police chief said Friday.
He indicated the suspect is a somewhat familiar figure to police as well.
"He's someone we've arrested in the past," Bowen said.
He said in addition to claims made to investigators, "physical evidence" at the empty home led officers to believe the dogs were being trained to fight.
"There were some things found there that, to my mind at least, would suggest he has been training some dogs for fighting," Bowen said.
He indicated charges are likely in the case.
"We'd like to interview him and see what his explanation for this is, but if that's not possible we'll get with the district attorney's office and see if there's enough evidence to go ahead and prosecute," Bowen said.
Senior Staff Writer Brooks Franklin can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 14 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.