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61 SUSPECTED FIGHTING DOGS SEIZED IN EMPORIA

~ AG Herring's Animal Law Unit assisted in the forfeiture hearing as investigation continues ~

EMPORIA (March 19, 2018)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring's Animal Law Unit and Greensville/Emporia Commonwealth's Attorney Patricia T. Watson successfully won an order for the forfeiture of 61 dogs after evidence was presented in court showing that the dogs owned by Jeffrey Shanel Scott had been systematically fought as part of a dogfighting operation. The forfeiture was ordered on March 6 by Judge Stephen D. Bloom and the time for an appeal has now expired. The animals were seized on February 22, 2018 by federal and state authorities at a property on Low Ground Road in Emporia as part joint investigation by local, state, and federal authorities into suspected dogfighting and other illegal activities. While the investigation remains ongoing, the dogs are being assessed and cared for by the ASPCA in hopes of responsibly placing them with animal shelters and rescue groups to be made available for adoption.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch and Assistant Attorney General Kelci Block prosecuted the case for the Office of the Attorney General alongside Commonwealth's Attorney Watson. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Office of the Attorney General Animal Law Unit.  In addition, the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force, Virginia State Police Narcotics Task Force, Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office, Emporia Police Department, Greenville County Sheriff's Office, and the ASPCA assisted in the seizure and related proceedings.

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