Deputies seize 14 pit bulls

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Richmond County deputies recovered 14 pit bulls and what they described as equipment used to train dogs for fighting Wednesday afternoon in several houses on Kent and Luckey streets, both near Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Richmond County deputies examine the yard of a Kent Street home believed to be involved in dogfighting. Seven people were arrested on drug charges and outstanding warrants.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Richmond County deputies examine the yard of a Kent Street home believed to be involved in dogfighting. Seven people were arrested on drug charges and outstanding warrants.

Lt. Scott Gay said seven people have been arrested on various drug charges and outstanding warrants but none have yet been charged with dogfighting or animal cruelty.

Lt. Gay stressed that the sheriff's office and the Richmond County Department of Animal Services were in the very early stages of their investigation, but wounds on the animals and training equipment found at the scene, lead them to believe the dogs were trained for that purpose.

"We believe that this is part of a dogfighting ring," Lt. Gay said.

He said they were not yet sure whether the animals were trained for fighting or to be used as "bait animals" for other dogs.

Members of the Richmond County crime suppression team were patrolling the area when they saw three dogs chained to a tree in the 1100 block of Kent Street. Agatha Flournoy, 53, who lives in the home, was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Across the street, police discovered three people living in an abandoned home without power or water. Inside deputies found a shotgun and cocaine. Those inside were charged with disorderly conduct and issued bench warrants.

Police noticed that a power line had been strung from the abandoned house to yet another home on Kent Street, where they found six more pit bulls tied to separate trees and a treadmill device that was modified for use with the animals.

Police also arrested David Gibson, Jr., 23, and James Fitzgerald Hicks, 43, both on disorderly conduct charges; and Anthony Way, 49, and Alvin Lee Haynes, 19, on outstanding warrants.

The Kent Street investigation ultimately led police to a residence in the 1600 block of Luckey Street, where five more pit bulls were recovered. The animals appeared to have suffered "cruel and inhumane treatment and injuries consistent with dogfighting," Lt. Gay said.

Two people were arrested on Luckey Street. Ryan Rufus Harris was charged with giving a false name and having an outstanding warrant and Jeter Pharnet, 27, was charged with disorderly conduct.

Authorities are also searching for 23-year-old Carlton Jones, the owner of one of the Kent Street residences who is believed to be the owner of the animals, said Bruce McClure, a field supervisor for animal services.

All three of the Kent Street homes lacked electricity or water, which prompted deputies to call the Richmond County Health Department, Lt. Gay said. Deputies found buckets of human feces and urine, in addition to dog chains and harnesses inside Mr. Jones' home, he said.

Lt. Gay said the incidents do not mark Augusta as a hotbed for dogfighting activity. "No more or less for a city of this size."

"The investigation is ongoing and we expect to make arrests related to the dogs and cruelty to animals sometime Thursday," he said.

Reach Adam Folk or Timothy Cox at (706) 724-0851.

Comments (114) Add comment
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giwi
106
Points
giwi 08/30/07 - 04:04 am
0
0
I hope they burn their _ _

I hope they burn their _ _ _!!!!

msdaisy
1
Points
msdaisy 08/30/07 - 05:04 am
0
0
Yeah give them the max

Yeah give them the max punishment......tie them to a tree in this heat and let them have to fight each other. I hope they find everyone involved in this!!!!!!

CyndiCk
0
Points
CyndiCk 08/30/07 - 05:05 am
0
0
This makes me sick! They

This makes me sick! They need to take everyone they catch for dog fighting and hose them down with bacon grease. Then turn their own dogs on them.

sliique
0
Points
sliique 08/30/07 - 05:58 am
0
0
CyndiCK: They weren't caught

CyndiCK: They weren't caught for dogfighting. Let's not convict people of (a) something they aren't accused of, except by citizens who read the article and misconstrue the information therein, such as yourself and, (b) lets not convict people in the court of Public Opinion.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 08/30/07 - 06:08 am
0
0
These people already sound as

These people already sound as if they are living like dogs, maybe they belong at the animal shelter as well........There seems to be alot of people in that area with outstanding warrants...

ThurstonHowell
0
Points
ThurstonHowell 08/30/07 - 06:15 am
0
0
Slique either (a)knows these

Slique either (a)knows these folks or (b) has no common sense whatsoever.

amazed1
0
Points
amazed1 08/30/07 - 06:27 am
0
0
I hope that they sieze their

I hope that they sieze their property ,just as they would in other criminal cases.

Queen4842
3
Points
Queen4842 08/30/07 - 06:27 am
0
0
I find it very strange that

I find it very strange that so many had outstanding warrants. What is the procedure for finding folks once a warrant has been issued?

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 08/30/07 - 06:30 am
0
0
just glad to hear the streets

just glad to hear the streets are being cleaned up; i'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

peonynut
2
Points
peonynut 08/30/07 - 06:40 am
0
0
Queen, there is no procedure,

Queen, there is no procedure, just pure dumb luck and then it's anyones guess if they do something.

Tim Walters
1
Points
Tim Walters 08/30/07 - 06:51 am
0
0
well we see by the number of

well we see by the number of outstanding warrants ' drugs and human feces in buckets that we are dealing with the scum of the earth like michael vick. burn baby burn

IMOinNA
0
Points
IMOinNA 08/30/07 - 06:56 am
0
0
No quite the contrary, Slique

No quite the contrary, Slique is quite correct, either that or some people read what they want to read. It said the animals looked to have been mistreated and could have been used in dogfighting or as bait dogs. And sorry to have to inform everyone but no matter what you think of the person, they still are innocent until proven guilty and deserve that same common courtesy that everyone else gets. Now yes in my opinion I think dogfighting is terrible and if that is what they have done then they should be found guilty of it and pay maximum sentence for it. But that doesn't mean the court of public opinion is the court to decide it.

Jstn706
0
Points
Jstn706 08/30/07 - 07:04 am
0
0
But when they do find them

But when they do find them guilty for dogfighting, which we all know that they really are, I think the dogs should be able to bark out a sentence for them all, where is Doctor Doolittle?

scfolk
0
Points
scfolk 08/30/07 - 07:20 am
0
0
Charge them all and give them

Charge them all and give them the book. I am tired of all these people doing that to animals.... god creatures. It's doesn't what race/color/religion you are you should be punished for doing this.

CyndiCk
0
Points
CyndiCk 08/30/07 - 07:21 am
0
0
Let's see Sliique, they found

Let's see Sliique, they found the dogs in horrible conditions everyone's all too familar with now, heavy chains and such. Sounds like a dog fighter to me.

forgiven
0
Points
forgiven 08/30/07 - 07:23 am
0
0
who are we to judge?

who are we to judge?

Uncle Remus
0
Points
Uncle Remus 08/30/07 - 07:41 am
0
0
The Court holds them innocent

The Court holds them innocent until proven guilty.
I dont.
I say they are guilty as hades.

dixiechick007
0
Points
dixiechick007 08/30/07 - 07:53 am
0
0
Thanks to Michael Vick,

Thanks to Michael Vick, people are being more aware of animal cruelty. Thanks to the sheriff's deputies for being curious about these dogs and investigating further. Dogfighters are sick sociopaths and are a menace to society and should be dealt with accordingly. I feel for the dogs because they are the victims. Again, a big thanks to the RCSO.

The A Train
0
Points
The A Train 08/30/07 - 08:00 am
0
0
Damn

Damn

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 08/30/07 - 08:10 am
0
0
Put them in a fighting pit

Put them in a fighting pit with the dogs and lets see how they like it. My money is on the dogs. I'd call that justice.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 08/30/07 - 08:15 am
0
0
where is license and

where is license and inspection to inspect these houses to see if they are fit to be lived in, but more importantly why are these "slum lord-type landlords" not made to tear these houses down???? local govenment at its best!!!!!!!

highpriestess
0
Points
highpriestess 08/30/07 - 08:25 am
0
0
You know that the only reason

You know that the only reason these people were arrested was because they are black. It has nothing to do with outstanding warrants, vagrancy, drug possession, and least of all with dog fighting.

Native Augustan
12
Points
Native Augustan 08/30/07 - 08:30 am
0
0
The Kent Street Area seems

The Kent Street Area seems like a hot bed of criminal activity with all the folks arrested for outstanding warrents. I would predict that Kent Street and Lucky Street will see increased RCSD presence in the near future. A couple more days like yesterday and that area will be deserted. Where has the code enforcement division been? Are they understaffed also? Those houses should be bulldozed and the lots cleared. If the warrents prove true -- give them the maxinum.

Southern_Belle2006
0
Points
Southern_Belle2006 08/30/07 - 08:45 am
0
0
highpriestess.....who cares

highpriestess.....who cares what color they are? they are suspected of commiting crimes and most have warrants - get over the race issue - it isnt all about race and honestly that is just a cop out to blame someone else for what someone did....and that is true no matter your race....

Hobie1
0
Points
Hobie1 08/30/07 - 08:45 am
0
0
I'm so sick and tired of

I'm so sick and tired of hearing these people whining about getting locked up "because they're black". You think it's just black people locked up,huh? Take a look around up at the D.O.C. Diagnostic Center in Jackson.

dixiechick007
0
Points
dixiechick007 08/30/07 - 08:49 am
0
0
Highpriestess, give me a

Highpriestess, give me a break. If that were the case then the majority of Richmond County would already be in jail. By the way the deputies saw the dogs first and the dogs had injuries that suggested they were used in dogfighting. "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck."

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 08/30/07 - 08:49 am
0
0
The reason these people were

The reason these people were arrested is because they either took part in a crime or had knowledge of one. Leaving pets out in the heat is a crime. As a former pet owner, I would come home from work in the middle of the day just to ensure my dog was not overheated. The chaining of these dogs in the heat gave deputies probable cause to investigate their conditions. Adequate food, water, and shelter (shade from the sun) must be provided to outdoor pets. The deputies were doing their duty when they entered the yard to check the conditions of the dogs. Finding dogs with injuries justifies questioning the owner/caretaker of the dogs. When questioning anyone about a possible crime, deputies check whether or not that particular person is wanted for a crime. If they are, then that person is arrested. If wanted people are questioned by one deputy, but not arrested, then that just means another deputy who has the case still has to find the person. It means that too many manhours are wasted on one person. Kill two birds with one stone and arrest the person because of the warrant. Seems like all of them would be glad to get to the jail where they have running water & lights!

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
Points
Da Voice Inside Your Head 08/30/07 - 08:52 am
0
0
One of the problems with

One of the problems with these "Crack" Houses are 1. They must be abandoned and the taxes not paid on the property. 2. The houses must be inspected for asbestos and if any is present it must be removed by a liscensed asbestos abatement contractor before any demolation can be preformed.This is state law. The county got burned for not following this procedure in the past. They now enforce the law very closly for everyone. So in the end it adds to the cost. And yes, the code enforcement people are overworked and short staffed and vastly underfunded. They do a very good job with what they have to work with. Call your commissioner and raise sand.

Brenda_G
1
Points
Brenda_G 08/30/07 - 08:54 am
0
0
My Dad always said, " it is

My Dad always said, " it is nice to be open minded, but be careful it isn't so open your brain falls out." That sort of goes along with "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck......." By-the-way, ducks come in a multitude of colors, but "birds of a feather......", well you know the rest. I didn't see race mentioned in the article. Does highpriestess have inside info?

Top Notch
0
Points
Top Notch 08/30/07 - 09:03 am
0
0
DIXIE CHICK AND SOUTHERN

DIXIE CHICK AND SOUTHERN BELLE- I believe that Highpreistiss was being facetious. The remark about the accused being black was sarcastic because there were drugs and outstanding warrants involved. And to SLIIQUE- did you know that there was a table inside the house that was covered in what appears to be blood? There was further evidence inside the house that supported the claim that there was dog fighting.

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