Its unclear whether the 27 dogs rescued Feb. 8 from one of the largest dog fighting operations ever investigated in Mecklenburg County will be able to be rehabilitated and eventually adopted, authorities said Tuesday.
The dogs, seized from a home off Carelock Circle in east Mecklenburg County, are in the custody of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control. Officials there plan to conduct behavioral tests to determine whether the dogs can be rehabilitated and adopted but only after the owners forfeit their ownership rights or the courts relinquish those rights for the owners.
In the meantime, Animal Care & Control is putting together a temperament assessment team made up of people from national welfare organizations who are trained in canine behavior.
Several of the dogs rescued displayed physical injuries consistent with dog fighting, including puncture wounds and lacerations. Other dogs appear slightly underweight, authorities said.
Two men face charges in the suspected fighting operation.
Melvin Smith, 46, and Lefonze Williams, 42, both of Charlotte, were each charged with felony training of animals with the purpose of dog fighting and baiting.