Two men arrested in Warrenville pit bull fighting ring bust

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November 2, 2006

A pit bull ring has been exposed in Warrenville, and two men have been arrested.

Deputies and animal control officers say they found a fight in progress.

News 12 has a closer look at the brutal sport and its consequences.

The fact is, these dogs pay a big price.

Most don't live past 3 or 4 years old...and they're the lucky ones.

Officers say 17 pit bulls, some as young as six months old, were being trained to fight.

"Most of the time when they're fighting, they fight until they're dead," Rodney Cooper, the temporary chief of the Animal Control office told News 12. "Usually only one comes out of the pit alive."

The dogs that were rescued from the ring are mild-tempered and calm around humans...but as soon as another dog shows up, they turn vicious.

"We can walk them on a leash, but if they get close to another animal, they'll want to attack," Cooper said.

One of them was injured so severely, it'll most likely be put to sleep. Aiken County Animal Control officers say the dog not only has a broken leg, but it's also suffering from severe internal bleeding, with several very visible puncture wounds all over its body.

"It's a so-called 'sport', and it's nowhere near a sport," said Cooper. "It's inhumane."

18-year-old William Gines and 23-year-old Koran Sapp are charged with felony animal fighting.

The owner of the home where the dogs were found didn't want her face shown. She told us she knew her son was breeding pit bulls, but didn't know there was an illegal ring right in her backyard.

"I told him he needed to move them because they get loose, and I thought he bred them to sell," she said.

The two men who were charged did not live at the homeowner's address.

If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both.

Investigators are still looking for several other people who were watching the dogs fight when the house was raided.