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1 arrested in dog-fighting ring: Local vets look after eight seized dogs

Eight dogs were seized and a Brookhaven man was arrested on eight counts of animal cruelty Monday after police received a tip about alleged dog fighting.

The Brookhaven Police Department received an anonymous tip that alleged dog-fighting activity on Highway 550. Police Chief Bobby Bell said when animal control officers followed up on it Monday morning, there was evidence organized dog fights had been taking place.

Wyrick Thomas

Wyrick Thomas

“There were eight dogs on the scene with battle scars all over them,” Bell said.

Bell said officers also found at least a couple dog carcasses in the woods at the residence. A judge’s order was filed to allow the eight dogs be taken to local veterinarians, where they are currently receiving care.

“At this stage we’re dealing with the vets to see if they can be rehabilitated,” Bell said. “Some were in pretty bad shape and had deep battle scars.”

So far only one person has been arrested in connection with the alleged dog-fighting ring, but the investigation is ongoing, Bell said. The subject living at the residence, Wyrick Thomas, 36, of 1075 Highway 550, was arrested Monday around noon and charged with eight counts of animal cruelty among other driving offenses.

Dog fighting is a felony carrying with it a fine up to $5,000 and up to three years in prison, according to state law animal cruelty is a misdemeanor under the state statutes.