AUBURN, Alabama -- The Auburn Police Department doesn’t know how many of the 367 pit bulls rescued in raid of a multi-state dog fighting ring could have been stolen from residences in Alabama.
The department is accepting information from pit bull owners who believe their dog was stolen and could have been involved in dog fighting.
“We will take all of the contact information and forward that to (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals),” Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said. He is asking owners with lost pets to provide a description of their dog, when it went missing and where it was taken from.
He said his department has received a few calls from people with lost pit bulls.
The Auburn Police Department can be reached at 334-501-3110.
During a press conference on Monday, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies announced the rescue of the dogs and the arrest of 12 suspects on dog fighting and gambling charges following the execution of 13 search warrants in Alabama and Georgia on Friday.
Some owners involved in the dog fighting ring did have a breeding operation, but authorities believe some of the dogs could have been stolen.
The rescued dogs are currently in undisclosed locations and are receiving medical and behavioral treatment through the ASPCA.
Melinda Landers is hoping to find her mixed pit bull, which went missing from her Leeds home in late March. She contacted the ASPCA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and her local police department attempting to see if she could locate her dog.
She sent an email to Al.com asking for assistance in whom to contact. She was advised to contact Auburn Police, but has yet to hear anything about her missing dog.
The Auburn Police Department initiated the investigation three years ago after contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation about possible dog fighting in the city.
Register didn’t directly say how his department discovered that dog fighting was going on in its jurisdiction, but he said the activity typically goes hand in hand with other crime such a drug cases.
“When you investigate drug cases, you can run into something like this going on,” he said.
Register said the investigation into the dog fighting ring continues. He said he would like to see attendees of these dog fights get charged.