Crime

Dogs saved from York fight 'have a long road ahead'

The York County Sheriff’s Office released new details Thursday about the condition of five pit bulls discovered at a dog fight this week on Lincoln Forest Drive near York.

Physical examinations completed on all five dogs showed injuries “consistent with dog fighting,” said sheriff’s spokesman Trent Faris.

Four of the five dogs were 12 percent dehydrated, Faris said. A veterinarian with York County Animal Control indicated that such a condition “is equivalent to death” for a dog, Faris said.

Two of the dogs in the fight had broken teeth and deep penetrating bite marks, Faris said. The dogs also had old bite marks. One dog was too weak to stand on its own.

All of the dogs are considered “medically recoverable,” Faris said.

UPDATE: On Friday morning, Faris said the "dogs have a long road ahead of them, but they are responding well to extensive ongoing medical treatment." Animal Control officials have placed the dogs in a "quiet treatment area of the shelter," he said. They are sleeping on Kuranda beds with puffy comforters, and heated floors and automatic fresh water bowls.

"Right now their entire world is eat, drink, rest, and recover," he said. "They are on a specialized feeding schedule to overcome chronic starvation, and are enjoying the comfort of full bellies."

FROM BEFORE: Deputies discovered the dog fight when investigating a call Wednesday afternoon for an abandoned car. They saw two dogs fighting behind a home.

Two men, both of York, James Rhodes, 27, and Johnny Moore, 55, were arrested at the scene. The charges against Rhodes and Moore were unavailable as of Thursday.

According to York County court records, Rhodes was convicted of animal cruelty in 2012.

A third person ran off before getting into a car, deputies said. As of Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office was still working to identify that person, Faris said.

Charlina McKinney, 23, of York, also was arrested at the scene for providing false information to police during the investigation.

York County Animal Control handles animal-related investigations when the incident is considered a misdemeanor crime, said animal control supervisor Steven Stuber. Since Wednesday’s incident is considered a felony, Stuber said, it will be handled by the York County Sheriff’s Office.

The Humane Society of York County had around 50 dogs in its facility on Thursday, said shelter manager Jean Ruddy. She said she hasn’t seen many dogs brought in for dog-fighting injuries in her seven years at the shelter.

She recalled a pit bull that was “one of the loveliest dogs.” Although that dog had a number of injuries, he was able to heal well, Ruddy said.

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