After NC dog fighting ring bust, shelter works to reunite pets and families

BURGAW, N.C. (WNCT) — A dog fighting ring busted in early December spans multiple states and numerous counties in North Carolina.

Now, one shelter is working to potentially reunite some of those dogs with their owners.

Court documents says the dogs were purchased in multiple states including New York, Oklahoma, and Florida.

Previous story: 10 NC men indicted in connection to illegal dog fighting

The fights were hosted in numerous counties in Eastern North Carolina including Pender and Onslow counties. Participants from the ring reside in many different counties including Pitt County. Investigators believe people’s pets may have been picked up and used in the extensive operation.

“It immediately raised concerns for residents that have been missing animals over the last couple of years that their animals could potentially be some of the 160 that they seized during the raid,” says Pender County Animal Shelter Manager Jewell Horton.

Pender County Animal Shelter is now working with the ASPCA to potentially reunite some of the dogs with their owners. The process is strategic, however, to protect the animals in the ASPCA’s care.

“Due to the serious nature of this case, it’s not something  that’s being shared down to a local level,” explains Horton. “The animals are in an isolated facility that’s unknown. There’s no way to go view them at this time.”

Anyone who is missing a dog in the East is asked to submit specific details about their animal to Horton so she may see if your animal is one of the 160 dogs seized.

The follow details are required:  color photos of pet, pet’s name, age, breed, sex (including if dog is spayed/neutered), color, markings, date and location they went missing, contact information for owner.

“If we can match up one person with their missing pet, it will all be worth it,” says Horton.

The above information may be sent to Horton at You do not have to reside in Pender or Onslow counties to submit your information for consideration.

Dogs could have been picked up from across eastern North Carolina.

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