When Hancock County Sheriff's deputies got a call about a vicious dog fight this weekend, they thought it might be another dog fighting ring. Instead, they came face to face with three dozen pit bulls in one yard on Varnado Lane in the Kiln.
"The initial call when they reported dog fighting we pretty well thought we were going to an organized dog fighting ring. When we got there it was just pit bulls fighting," Hancock County Sheriff Steve Garber said.
Deputies discovered 35 pit bulls in the yard. Four of them were fighting. As the deputies entered the back yard, one of the dogs charged them.
"The officer fired one shot into the ground trying to get the dog to stop. When the dog didn't stop, and continued coming at the officer, the officer finally shot the dog and killed the dog. It's unfortunate we had to shoot a dog, but it came down to the officer's safety."
Investigators say the property owners, Rachel Marie Lott and Edwin Moran Jr., told them they were raising the pit bulls to sell.
"We're really unclear right now why they were raising this many pit bulls."
The sheriff says photos of the scene paint a poor picture of how the animals lived.
"There were real bad conditions. The dogs were being raised in mud holes, out in the weather, tied up in water and everything else. Very poor conditions."
Investigators say, so far, they have found no evidence of organized dog fighting, but they're still asking questions.
"We're going to talk to the District Attorney's Office and show him what we have and see what charges, if any, are possible."
One of the dogs hurt while fighting also died from its injuries.
Sheriff Garber says the other animals were not confiscated. Instead, they were given away by their owners.
No charges have been filed at this time. The people who owned the pit bulls did not return our calls for comment.