Four people and 18 dogs in the Sacramento area were taken into custody this week, in connection with one of the largest annual dogfights in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Humane Society of the United States helped Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies, Placer County Sheriff’s deputies and DEA agents raid four properties. The four people they arrested are suspected of being dogfighters, and dogfighting paraphernalia was found while searching the properties.
Investigators believe the four have ties to some of those arrested last weekend in Mississippi during a huge dogfighting raid.
The Associated Press says about 200 people were gathered in a barn near the Mississippi-Tennessee border Saturday night. A monthslong investigation involving federal and local agencies tracked down the location, where reportedly dogfighters from around the country annually gather.
In that raid, nearly 50 people were arrested, and 20 dogs were rescued.
California officials believe two of those arrested in the Sacramento area attended last week’s event in Mississippi.
“Dogfighters operate on a national scale, so it took the cooperation and dedication of many agencies working with The Humane Society of the United States to accomplish the successes in California and Mississippi this week,” said Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting investigations for the HSUS in a press release Thursday.
In California, those found guilty of owning dogs for the purpose of fighting, or staging a dogfight, could face three years I prison and/or up to a $50,000 fine.