BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi police are looking for the owners of more than two dozen pit bulls they suspect are being raised for dog fighting.
The animals, most of them attached to heavy chains, were found behind two vacant mobile homes off Hudson-Krohn Road.
A Biloxi animal control officer was responding to a complaint about barking dogs. What they found was described by investigators at the scene as "disgusting" and "deplorable."
"We had a call of dogs barking. Lots of dogs barking. And some people were concerned," said Biloxi Police Officer Harold Windom.
Animal control officers who responded found good reason to be concerned. They discovered more than two dozen pit bulls. Several of the animals have bite marks.
"Some of the injuries that the dogs have, coincide with dog fighting. It runs the gambit from little puppies to older dogs," said Windom.
Animal control officers gathered up the animals which, for the most part, were friendly and non-threatening.
Because of a fire at the Humane Society of South Mississippi, the animals were taken instead to the Harrison County farm.
Investigators say the dogs, although fed and watered daily, are not getting proper care.
"Deplorable conditions. They're chained out with humongous chains. Even the puppies are on great big chains. I guess that's building muscle, but it's not a good place to live," said the investigator.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers strengthened Mississippi's animal cruelty laws by creating a felony provision. And investigators say the owner or owners will likely face at least one felony count because of the severity of injuries to one of these animals. His jawbone and skull were visible because of bite marks to the head. Other charges against the owner are also likely.
"Improperly housing animals. You can't chain an animal on a chain to a fixed object in the City of Biloxi. Some of the animals are injured and it doesn't appear they're getting proper care. So it will be animal abuse. And we'll go from there," said investigator Windom.