After almost two weeks of care at the Jessamine County SAVE Center, shelter workers say sixteen dogs, mostly pit bull mixes, are now available for adoption or rescue after investigators found them in a possible dogfighting operation. "They are very sweet with people" says Jenise Smith, "We've been in the kennels with every one of them. We've handled all of them. They've been great. We've not had a bit of problems with them."
Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are working to prosecute the men they say are responsible for abusing the dogs. Animal Control Officer Frank Ruggiero says despite evidence of breeding and conditioning for fighting, it's not enough for the maximum penalty. "However, animal cruelty charges in the second degree were filed against a Marty Stevens and a Robert Ellard Cuzick, who was the alleged caretaker of the animals living at the property" said Ruggiero.
He says those charges were based on the health of the animals, and results from veterinary evaluations will help their case. "That evidence will be included in our case to prove that in a two week time frame the animals have improved in condition."
As for now, experts will test the dogs temperament to best match them with a home. While the animals continue to be evaluated, you can begin submitting applications to adopt them. Contact the Jessamine County SAVE Center at 859-881-0821. Workers at the shelter say in addition to these dogs, they have 70 others available for adoption.