Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bedford Co. Sheriff reveals how dog fighting arrest went down

BEDFORD CO. - The Humane Society of the United States says a major figure in the dog fighting world has been arrested in Bedford County. As WSLS first broke on Tuesday, The Humane Society says Jeffrey Denny has acknowledged selling hundreds of dogs for breeding or fighting all over the country.

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office says Denny drove from North Carolina to the Montvale Exxon Monday evening, where they say Denny attempted to sell a pit bull to an undercover deputy. Two pit bulls were seized along with Denny’s van, which is crammed full of dog crates.

Sheriff Mike Brown says Denny planned to continue driving to Charleston, West Virginia, where Denny had made arrangements to sell the second dog. The sheriff’s office doesn’t know anything about the person in West Virginia who wanted to buy the second dog, other than that person is not a police officer.

Police in North Carolina searched Denny’s Franklinville Home where sixteen more dogs were seized. Police also found the following items related to dog fighting; break sticks, needles and syringes, an auto suture gun, a tool box containing medical supplies, medications and veterinary supplies, IV supplies and saline solution, mineral supplements, dog collars and a dog harness. Police also seized eight guns and ammunition, drug paraphernalia and computer and written records from the home.

Denny faces one felony charge in Bedford County for transporting animals for fighting. After court proceedings here, Denny will be returned to North Carolina to face sixteen felony dog fighting charges, eleven misdemeanor dog cruelty charges and one felony count for possession of drug paraphernalia. Denny, who the sheriff says has a previous drug conviction, is also facing federal felony charges for illegal firearm possession by the ATF. The sheriff says there is a possibility Denny could be charged federally on the dog fighting charges because he crossed a state line, but that the feds have not been asked to get involved and the charges will be handled locally.

The sheriff’s office says Denny planned to sell the two pit bulls for $900 each. Deputies seized $392 from Denny’s van.

Denny is being held without bond at the Bedford Adult Detention Center. The two dogs are being held as evidence at the Bedford County Animal Shelter. An animal control officer tells us after the court proceedings, the judge will decide if the dogs can be adopted based on reccomendations of animal control officers and shelter workers.

The Humane Society of the United States used its mobile animal cruelty lab in this investigation. The vehicle features two fully functional veterinary exam rooms and ultraviolet lights and devices to detect blood and body fluids. A veterinarian used the lab to look for fighting related injuries on the dogs found in North Carolina.

WSLS 

Update June 4, 2010 1:46pm - WSET reports that Bedford County officials held a hearing Friday about what will happen to the two dogs involved.
The county is asking for custody of the animals, which are in the shelter. The judge gave Denny ten days to pay for the cost of caring for the dogs, otherwise he will forfeit custody.

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