Trial Set for 4 Men Charged with Animal Cruelty in Tennessee Dog-Fighting Operation

We, the undersigned, ask for the maximum penalty for the alleged felony of dogfighting. The following four suspects were indicted by the Cheatham County Grand Jury earlier this year: James Callis, Gary Phelps and Avery Bell of Ashland City, TN., and Arsenio Williams of Nashville, TN. 

It has now been almost exactly a year to the day since the fire dept. and the animal control officers of Cheatham County, TN responded to the suspected arson/brush fire that opened up the can of worms which became known as Operation Broken Chain. Animal control officers found scores of dogs in deplorable, torturous conditions (with actual evidence of dogfighting equipment on site). The Animal Rescue Core actually removed over 65 of these dogs in horrendous physical shape: they were underweight, starved, sores covered from head to toe with sores and infested with internal parasites. The dogs had been chained (some tethered to trees), locked in small cages without food or water and tortured. Most were pit bulls and beagles. Here is a quote from Animal Rescue Core president, Scotlund Haisley: "The conditions A. R. C. found on this property are the worst we've ever seen at a dogfighting operation in my 22 year career in animal protection!"

The fellow creatures we share this earth with have souls, feelings and needs much as we do. And I believe that our creator designed us to be compassionate stewards for our companions and dedicate ourselves to their preservation, well being and comfort. Those of us who claim to be humane, and to possess a moral compass, need to mount a powerful stance against those whose supreme cruelty to animals shows a searing lack of compassion, empathy and conscience. We need to think, feel and act on behalf of our innocent, voiceless companions instead of hiding behind a cowardly cloak of social invisibility and moral apathy! Therefore we caring citizens of this community and this planet implore those who have any power to make a difference to put an end to this brutal scourge known as dogfighting once and for all.

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