GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Animal activists are worried that a dog fighting ring is operating in Gwinnett County.
In less than a week, a half dozen fighting or bait dogs have turned up dead, hurt, or starving. The groups are asking for your help.
What the dogs have seen would make you wince and cry. Each of them trained to fight, literally for their lives. Their bodies are a veritable road map of cruelty. And in less than a week, six of them were found in Gwinnett County alone, one of them dead.
"Obviously, we suspect there is a dog fighting ring here who is trying to get rid of the dogs who have not been doing good in dog fights," said Merle Mohr of Paws and Stars, a dog rescue group. "They just dump them somewhere on the side of the road."
Two bait dogs were found together, dumped like garbage behind a strip mall, one whose legs were bitten up so badly that he couldn't walk. But their loyalty was so strong that the one that could walk would not leave the other's side -- dogs with more humanity than the humans who owned them.
"It's horrible; it's heartbreaking," said Mohr. "I'm from Germany, We don't have those things, not that I've seen, and I've been a vet tech since '98. It's very heartbreaking."
Other dogs were found tied up and starving to death. It is only due to the work of rescue volunteers and vets like Medlock Bridge Animal Hospital and the Veterinary Medical Center that the dogs are even alive today.
"They're anemic; they often have blood disease," said Carolyn O'Brien of Two Tailz K9 ResQ. "It's very difficult to come back from that. They have low liver values, and they have to be on IV fluids."
Gwinnett Animal Control is investigating, but police are frustrated because making arrests in cases where dogs are abandoned is difficult. That why it's up to the public to blow the whistle on abuse.
"I hope that what you will see is that when we get them back medically. They are so forgiving and so resilient and so courageous. They want to love and that's what they give," said O'Brien.
An online fundraising account has been set up to defray the costs of the dogs' care.