100 flee, abandon vehicles, as dog fight broken up in rural Florida

Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo

PALATKA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say about 100 people fled a dog fight in northeast Florida after deputies responded to the scene.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call of barking dogs and people yelling late Saturday night and discovered a dog fighting event in the woods off Azalea Lane in west Putnam County.

As a result of the call, deputies say 100 people fled into the woods, leaving behind 39 vehicles, some registered from as far away as Jonesboro, GA, and Bradenton, Florida.

As Deputy Mark Juen and Sergeant Shannon Depew approached the lighted area in the woods, a large group of people fled into the woods, and the deputies found two dogs fighting inside an arena made out of a wooden box. Both dogs had wounds evidently as a result of the ongoing fight.

Several additional deputies and detectives arrived, and 20 people were contacted in the surrounding area. All 20 people denied being involved with the dog fight and said they were a part of the audience. Deputies say they found 19 dogs in the immediate area, a digital hanging scale, two cell phones, sponges, and a 12-gauge shotgun. The items were collected as evidence. All of the vehicles were identified for a follow-up investigation.

Sergeant Depew contacted Putnam County Animal Control who responded and collected all of the dogs that were found at the scene. The investigation is being continued by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

Later, on Sunday afternoon, Deputy Kevin Darrin received a call of a business burglary at Animal Control located on County Landfill Road. Animal Control employee Mary Vaughn reported to Deputy Darrin that she arrived at Animal Control and discovered that the fence at the rear of the dog kennels had been cut, and one of the dogs that had been seized the night before was missing.

Deputy Darrin found that the chain link fence at the back of the kennels had been cut allowing, the thief to remove the reddish-brown male pitbull from its kennel. Deputy Darrin was able to collect evidence from the scene and this investigation continues, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office shared the following photos.

Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office photo

 

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