Man charged, 106 dogs rescued from dog-fighting operation at his home

Caroline Silva
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)
Collars and chains used in an alleged dog-fighting operation in Georgia are displayed.

ATLANTA — More than a hundred dogs were rescued from a Paulding County home after a man was arrested this week for running a dog-fighting operation, authorities said.

Vincent Lemark Burrel is facing charges of cruelty to animals and dog fighting, but the sheriff’s office said law enforcement officials “expect over 100 additional counts against Burrell as this case continues to unfold.” He is being held at the Paulding jail without bond.

The 55-year-old is accused of facilitating a massive dog-fighting operation at his Dallas home and breeding the dogs, officials said. During the investigation, detectives said, they found 106 dogs tied to various objects with large and extremely heavy logging chains and thick collars.

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Vincent Lemark Burrel

“Some of the dogs were emaciated, while others were strong and extremely aggressive toward other dogs,” the sheriff’s office said. “The sad part is that the vast majority of these animals just craved the love and attention of the deputies and detectives that were on the scene.”

Some dogs were left outside with little to no shelter for days, according to authorities. Other dogs were kept in the basement of the home, where detectives said the smell of urine and feces was so strong they had to wear protective equipment to safely enter the home and rescue the pups.

Authorities said the animals were also not being cared for on a regular basis or being vaccinated by a veterinarian.

“Conditions where dogs were being housed, both inside and on the exterior of this property, were not fit for humans, much less dogs,” officials said.

All the dogs were placed into various rescue facilities, where they can begin their rehabilitation.

“I am thankful that these dogs are safe now. The dark and sinister world of dog fighting is a despicable culture that has no place in our world,” Paulding Sheriff Gary Gulledge said.

Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigations tip line at 770-443-3047 or submit a tip through the Paulding Sheriff mobile app.