Proactive Efforts Uncover Potential Dog Fighting Operation

dog 7A Sheriff’s Office initiative to educate Hernando County citizens about code violations, anti-tethering laws, and other information responsible pet ownership led to the discovery of eight dogs, suspected of being bait dogs in dog fighting ring, being held on county owned property.

On Wednesday, April, 26, 2017, Hernando County Sheriff’s COPPS Deputies Spooner, McLaughlin, and Deso, along with Animal Enforcement Officer (AEO) Rowe and a representative from Hernando County Code Enforcement, went to the south Brooksville community to educate the public, identify potential code violations, and issue warnings if needed. While conducting proactive patrol at the end of Leonard Street, the deputies and AEO observed eight dogs either tethered with heavy chains or confined in make-shift kennels on a vacant property.

A thorough check of the GIS map revealed the property is actually owned by Hernando County so the dogs were removed and transported to the Hernando County Animal Services Shelter. The make-shift kennels were destroyed and chains impounded (and weighed). One of the chains weighed slightly over 10 pounds. Deputies believe the dogs were possibly being used as bait-dogs in a dog fighting operation. It is unknown who owns/owned the dogs as they were located on county owned property.

Hernando County Sheriff’s COPPS deputes will have an increased presence in the south Brooksville Community in an effort to partner with citizens to reduce crime and to potentially root out dog fighting. The eight dogs seized became property of the HCAS Shelter on April 30th. If you are interested in adopting one or more of them please contact HCAS at 352-796-5062.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis said, “The Sheriff’s Office is in the process of filling our Community Policing Unit positions that were cut during the downturn in the economy. One of their first projects is to address many of the quality of life issues in the south Brooksville community. My office is committed to working with the community and the Board of County Commissioners to address all the concerns of this longstanding Hernando County neighborhood. Commissioner Champion and I, in fact, recently hosted a Town Hall meeting and were encouraged by the community support for our increased involvement in this area of the county.”

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