Six dogs seized in dog fighting ring bust will be returned to owners
UPDATE: Only four of the dogs will be returned to their owners because of a city ordinance which only allows people to own a maximum of three dogs.
Two puppies seized will now be available for adoption once they get a clean bill of health.
NBC25 has learned that six of the seven dogs seized in connection to a dog fighting ring investigation will be returned to their owners.
Authorities say they don't have enough evidence to hold them.
Five dogs and two puppies were taken by Genesee County Animal Control on Wednesday. Six of those will be returned. Five other dogs were seized from home in the 600 block of Bishop on Monday.
Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell says those dogs were tortured and three had to be euthanized. Two others will be put for adoption.
A 14-year old boy is believed to be the ringleader.
Pickell says arrest warrants are expected to be issued by the end of the week.
NBC25 has learned that State Respresentative Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, is proposing two bills that would crack down on animal abuse and neglect as way to deal with cases like this.
One bill would call for stiffer fines and penalties and the other would create an animal abuse registry where offenders would register for five years and pay an annual fine of $50 dollars.
"What happens when someone is convicted of animal abuse? Nothing. He doesn't get put on a registry and he can go back out and adopt another pet," said Rep. Harvey.
Harvey says the registry would pay for itself and animal shelter and pet stores would use it to check out potential buyers.
"These animals cannot defend themselves."
Genesee County Animal Control Director Walt Rodabaugh says this registry wouldn't only protect animals but humans too.
"If you look back in history people like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy both had a history of animal abuse. Studies show that animal abuse leads to spousal abuse, child abuse and the list goes on," said Rodabaugh.
Rep. Santana says the bills still need to be tweaked but expects to have a hearing on them in the next couple of weeks.