Two pit bulls, described by officials as “severely injured,” are now being cared for at the Surry County Animal Shelter, but officials haven’t determined whether they were used in a dog fighting operation, despite some media coverage to the contrary.
“No one has determined at this time whether these are fighting dogs,” Thomas Williams, a spokesman for the Surry County Animal Shelter, said emphatically. “We haven’t determined that and we haven’t said at this point.”
Williams said no other information will be released until the investigation is completed.
“It’s still under way,” he said. “I don’t know what will happen, but the outcome and any possible charges will depend on the investigation.”
The incident began with an after-hours call to emergency communications on Nov. 19 regarding what Williams described as “some sick or injured dogs.”
Animal Control Officer Corey Quesinberry, who was on call at the time, responded to the scene located behind the old Becky’s Glass building off Bluemont Road.
“He looked around and noted that the condition of the dogs was horrible as well as the conditions they were living in,” Williams said.
After consulting a local veterinarian, Quesinberry took custody of the dogs and they are being treated at the county animal shelter.
But one local animal advocate is adamant that the animals were used in fighting.
“I received a call about the abandoned pit bulls, got there and discovered two severely emaciated pit bulls with both old and new wounds,” said Meghan Elias, who works both with local rescue groups and Carolina Canine Rescue.
“One dog had a lip hanging off his nozzle and his jaws were swollen from what looked like being bit,” she added. “The other had a broken leg.”
According to Elias, both were tied with logging chains, the weight of which caused their heads to swell.
“And both of them only had about a foot in which to move,” she said, adding that the dogs had no food or water available and blood was splattered throughout the area.
“There was blood covering one of the dog houses and a tree and there was a tire there like they use to train dogs for fighting,” Elias said.
But while there are suspicions, nothing has been determined as to whether the animals were used in dog fighting.
“Right now, we simply can’t say,” Williams reiterated. “We won’t know until the investigation has been concluded.”
And according to Williams, reports that the county shelter is soliciting funds for the animals are incorrect.
“As of this time, no requests for money or donations have been made by Surry County Animal Control,” he said, noting that the condition of the animals mandated immediate veterinary care. “At issue right now is the care of the dogs.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.