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Dog Fighting Bust Reveals "Graveyard of Dead Dogs"

A bust in Florida reveals a gruesome scene, with hundreds of dogs suspected dead over the years.

 |  Nov 29th 2012  |   20 Contributions


Early this week, a tipster finally put a stop to a dog-fighting operation in Seffner, FL, that is almost unbelievable in its scope, with hundreds of dogs believed to have been killed over a 20-year period. The dogs were then buried right on the property, according to Tampa Bay Online

What's more, the two property owners, 55-year-old Vannie Franklin and his nephew, 41-year-old Russell Franklin, showed no remorse when confronted by investigators. Instead, authorities say they laughed and joked about their operation. 

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"While we were at the property, the individual there admitted to us he'd been fighting dogs out there for 20 years and jokingly said we were walking on a graveyard," said Sgt. Pam Perry of Hillsborough County Animal Services.

Investigators are still searching the property, but they've described a "graveyard of dead dogs all over the property, including a mound of dog bodies." They said they also found tools for fighting and a blood-stained pit where the events took place, according to Tampa Bay Online. 

"A lot of chains with no dogs on them,” said Perry, according to Bay News 9. “So I don't know where they are. Probably deceased."

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In a press conference, Perry went into graphic detail: "The stench out there is of feces, and it smelled like dead bodies."

"There was also a chain with a collar, and as you reached the end of that chain with the collar and looked up to a mound, there was a jaw and a skull of a dog. There was also a pit out there with blood on the carpeting and blood on the carpeting around the pit," she said.

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The one bright light in this horrific situation is that investigators found seven dogs still alive, though some with severe injuries. One had fresh wounds across his body -- rescuers lovingly named him Rudolph, after his still-bleeding, red nose. All the dogs were infested with fleas and parasites, but Perry said they're all nice dogs who are good with people, despite the horrors they encountered. 

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"They deserve to live the rest of their life in luxury," she said, "because they were living in a kill zone."

As for the Franklins, both of whom are convicted felons, they're facing a slew of charges and are being held. The investigation is ongoing, however, and more arrests are expected. 

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