Gunfire greeted Smith County authorities as they arrived at a home in the northeast portion of the County Saturday night. The gunshots may have been fired to make six fighting dogs run, in an attempt to get rid of evidence, says Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith.
Instead, six pit bulls were confiscated, treated for their bloody wounds, and then deemed too violent to live. Just hours after being found inside a man-made dog fighting arena, the pets were put to sleep. The fights took place inside a barn on C-R 3104.
By dawn, 31 people were behind bars, 30 cars were towed and one person was charged with a fourth degree felony for allegedly putting his pet in the deadly fight. The rest of the participants face a Class-C misdemeanor violation and a $500 fine. Only four of the arrested come from Smith County, the rest traveled here from Dallas, Houston and Louisiana.
Authorities don't know who organized the ring or who owns the property, says Smith. But they're hoping to trace the fight back to those responsible.
"These people are hard to catch because they work on the Internet," explains Smith. "They don't give out the location where they're going to have the fight, until 12 to 24 hours before it starts."
Smith County has worked 5 dogfight cases in the last five years.