Monday, July 19, 2010

Hearing Held to Determine Fate of Animals in Gadsden County Dogfighting Ring

By Stephanie Salvatore, WCTV

Yanco Peterson flips through nearly 100 pictures taken of the dogs that were confiscated from his property, he claims many of the dogs don't belong to him.
On June 29th, Sheriff's deputies came to Peterson's house at 231 L & M Lane in Quincy to recover stolen items, and found 34 dogs chained up in his backyard, and evidence that they've been trained for dogfighting.
The dogs are being held at the animal shelter and could be put down if they're deemed to be too aggressive. Peterson claims he simply breeds puppies and that any scarring on the dogs was accidental.
"They all try to minimize their involvement, and of course he came into court not represented by an attorney which kind of had him at a disadvantage because he had to represent himself, and as you saw the judge was extremely lenient with him and allowed him to make several statements and represent himself," says Lt. Jim Corder with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office.
The co-founder of an organization who works with the education and assessment of pit bulls came to look at the dogs, and could determine if these dogs have potential of being adopted out.
He did an assessment on all the dogs to look at their personality and behavior profiles to see are they compatible with other dogs do they have aggressive towards humans do they have resource guarding issues and we do those assessments in an attempt to try and figure out if the dog is placeable in a home environment," says Dr. Catherine McManus, a veterinarian.
Judge Kathy Garner has 30 days to make a decision about the dogs. A criminal hearing will be held somewhere in the future to deal with Peterson's charges.
Right now, he is being held in the Gadsden County jail without bond on charges of dogfighting and animal cruelty. There's still 3 or 4 more arrests to be made in this case.

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