42 pit bulls seized in possible York County dog fighting operation, sheriff says

Dozens of pit bull dogs were seized from near Rock Hill Thursday in what is possibly a dog fighting site, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said.

The York County Sheriff’s Office code enforcement unit seized 42 pit bulls after discovering evidence of possible dog fighting near McConnells, Tolson said.

No arrests have been made, sheriff’s officials said Friday afternoon. The investigation by both the sheriff’s office and York County Animal Control remains ongoing.

County officials declined to allow the media or public to take photos or video of the dogs who were seized because of the ongoing probe. Officials also declined to release any other details about the environment the dogs were found in, or the animals’ physical condition now that the dogs are in county care.

“Since this is an ongoing investigation, we can’t comment on the matter,” said Trish Startup, spokesperson for York County. “We want to assure the public that the York County Animal Shelter is providing the necessary care for the dogs.”

Deputies were investigating alleged violations of York County animal restraining requirements in the 1300 block of McConnells Highway southeast of Rock Hill and south of York Thursday afternoon, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Deputies discovered the pit bulls chained to car axles buried in the ground and evidence of potential dog fighting, Faris said.

Deputies received a search warrant for the property. All the animals on scene were taken into the custody of York County Animal Control, sheriff’s officials said.

“This is a good example of Animal Control and the York County Sheriff’s Office working together to protect our community and animals,” Tolson said in a statement.

It is unclear if all the animals seized were adult dogs. There were so many animals seized, county officials sought the public’s help for homes for animals already in the shelter.

“York County Animal Control is in an emergency situation with 50-60 incoming dogs,” the York County Animal Shelter said in a Facebook post Thursday. “We need emergency foster homes for all of our adoptable and rescue dogs.”

By Friday afternoon, animal shelter officials said they are still seeking placement for animals.

“Due to the influx of dogs at the shelter, we are in need of York County residents to provide foster homes to our adoptable and rescue dogs,” Startup said.

Anyone interested in providing a foster home can contact York County Animal Shelter at heather.dry@yorkcountygov.com.

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