Nine dogs -- one of which was pregnant -- have been rescued following in lengthy investigation into a San Diego dog fighting ring.
San Diego Police (SDPD) and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) officials said months of investigation and several search warrants lead them from Los Angeles County to San Diego County, said LASD Sgt. Robert Hill.
Authorities served a search warrant at a home on Westinghouse Drive in San Diego's Linda Vista neighborhood, where they found four people inside the home, Hill said. One was arrested on unrelated drug charges, and authorities expect more arrests going forward.
Inside, officials found nine dogs, some of which had scars from a history of fights. Down the stairs and through a brick opening, authorities also uncovered a type of dungeon where the dogs would be trained. In the room, a treadmill, chains, tropheys, weights and belts, items consistent with dog training.
"These dogs are very valuable to the people that own them," Hill said. "They sell them for several thousand dollars."
One of the dogs was pregnant, officials said, and some may have to be put down if they are extremely aggressive. The dogs will be taken to a vet in the Los Angeles area for rehabilitation.
The dogs were kept in the United States, but were brought to Mexico to fight in several different cities where they could win up to $80,000 in prize money, Hill said. Successful dogs like these could be sold from anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000, depending on their histories. At least one of the dogs was bred, likely because the dog showed consistent behavior for a fight dog, Hill said.
Hill said the larger dog fighting ring likely had more than 1,000 members.
.@SanDiegoPD and LA Sheriffs break up dog fighting ring in Linda Vista area. This guy is one of 9 dogs rescued #nbc7 pic.twitter.com/0YAOSykJ1E— WendyFry (@WendyNBCSD) March 30, 2016
.@SanDiegoPD point out the scars on this dog's face recovered from a dog fighting ring busted in Linda Vista #nbc7 pic.twitter.com/10h1UIfOdm— WendyFry (@WendyNBCSD) March 30, 2016