Man arrested for breeding and training over 100 pit bulls in “massive dog fighting operation” in Georgia, officials say

A man was arrested at his northwest Georgia home for raising more than 100 cattle and training them to attack dogs, authorities said. Vincent Lemark Burrell, 55, is charged with animal cruelty and dog fighting, according to the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.

Dogfighting, in which animals are bred and used for exercise for public entertainment, is a crime in all US states and under federal law. Attending and watching a dog fight is also prohibited. In many states, including Georgia, owning a canine animal for dog fighting purposes is a personal misdemeanor.

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Police say they arrested Burrell on Nov. 8 after an investigation revealed they were involved in “a major dog-fighting operation,” according to the sheriff’s office. When they arrived at his home in Dallas, about an hour west of Atlanta, deputies found 106 dogs – mostly pit bulls, according to the sheriff’s office – tied up in “various things” in the backyard using logging chains and cages.

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“The dogs were tied to trees, chained to the ground, and kept without water and food,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “Many of these dogs had been left in homeless shelters for several days. Also, these dogs were not regularly seen or vaccinated by a veterinarian.”

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dog-shackles.jpg
A chain used to tie more than 100 dogs, allegedly used for shooting dogs, to a Georgia man’s home is pictured after being tied up.

Paulding County Sheriff’s Office / Facebook


Authorities also found other dogs in the basement of Burrell’s home, “where the presence (along with the odor) of urine and feces was so strong, officers had to wear protective gear to enter the home,” according to the sheriff’s office. . All 106 dogs found at the site were placed in rescue facilities.

Burrell is currently being held without bail at the Paulding County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office, which said it expects to charge Burrell with more than 100 counts as its investigation continues.

“I am pleased with the work that has been done in this case and am thankful that these dogs are now safe,” Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge said in a statement. “The dark and evil world of dog fighting is a disgusting culture that has no place in our world.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the case to come forward with a tip via the Paulding Sheriff’s mobile app, or by phone at 770-443-3047.

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