Dog euthanized, man charged, more arrests expected in East Texas dogfighting investigation

Crime

HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A dog has been put down, one man is behind bars, and more arrests are expected after deputies and a game warden broke up a dogfighting event in an East Texas pasture over the weekend.

According to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden were called to a field in the 100 block of Strickland Springs Saturday night to investigate a report of possible dogfighting. They arrived to find what initially appeared to be a pasture party attended by adults.

“…but that quickly changed once they discovered evidence of dogfighting (several malnourished K9’s, K9 weights, dozens of kennels with blood, Etc.). It quickly became chaotic as the crowd began fleeing from
the location,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on the investigation.

An HCSO investigator was called to the scene to help patrol deputies get a search warrant for the property, vehicles, and other pertinent items.

The sheriff’s office says they found one extremely malnourished dog packed into a small kennel with injuries consistent with dogfighting. The dog was released to Marshall Police Animal Control but ultimately had to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.

Jesus Stephens was arrested and charged with dogfighting and animal cruelty. The sheriff’s office says the investigation is still ongoing and multiple more arrests are probable.

“Dog Fighting is an organized criminal enterprise that a nationwide problem. The violence these K9s endured is horrific and will not be tolerated. Our Deputies and Game Warden did an outstanding job, and this is a prime example of the unknowns Law Enforcement encounter daily,” Sheriff BJ Fletcher said in the statement.

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