ASPCA Assists Walton County Sheriff’s Office in Removal of Dogs From Freeport, Fla. Dog Fighting RingDogs now receiving much-needed medical care
Freeport, Fla.—At the request of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with evidence collection and the removal of 7 dogs seized Wednesday morning from a property in Walton County, Fla. where animals were allegedly housed and fought. The remains of deceased dogs were also discovered on the property.
After a search warrant was executed Wednesday morning, Terrell Bramlet, 25, of Freeport and live-in girlfriend Kelsi Greene, 24, were detained by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Bramlet is charged with a felony count of dog fighting, felony animal cruelty, in addition to possession of a controlled substance, cultivation, possession of drug paraphernalia. Greene is charged with possession of a controlled substance, cultivation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Weapons and dog fighting paraphernalia, including training devices and wound treatment were found on the property, along with drugs such as crack cocaine and marijuana.
Upon arriving at the scene, ASPCA experts found the dogs tethered on heavy chains, many exhibiting scars and wounds consistent with fighting. The dogs are now receiving medical attention at an undisclosed location, where they will continue to be cared for until medical and behavioral assessments are complete and placement options can be determined.
“Many people in Freeport aren’t aware that dog fighting takes place in their community,” said Lt. Adam Falk of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s an underground industry, but it’s a real, pervasive issue. We hope citizens will keep their eyes open and report any suspicious activity.”
This investigation was the result of a complaint from a concerned citizen, who contacted local authorities after coming across dog fighting images posted on social media.
“For the victims of dog fighting, life is a constant cycle of suffering and torture,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “Dog fighting is an underground but widespread epidemic, and we are grateful to the Walton County Sheriff for actively pursuing this case and seeking justice for innocent dogs who were subjected to horrific abuse.”
Just last week more than 150 Florida police officers, attorneys and animal control officers were trained by ASPCA experts on how to better investigate animal cruelty. Officers from across the state converged in Melbourne to learn from nationally recognized animal welfare experts.
Other organizations supporting the case by supplying resources, hands-on assistance or supplies include: the Walton County State Attorney’s Office, Walton County Animal Shelter, Alaqua Animal Refuge and PetSmart Charities.
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since 2010, the ASPCA has worked with law enforcement on more than 100 dog fighting cases, providing expertise and resources, including the two largest dog fighting raids in U.S. history in 2013 and 2009. Last month, more than 13,000 concerned citizens signed the ASPCA’s letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for more vigorous pursuance of dog fighters. For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle dog fighting and what the public can do to help, please visit www.aspca.org/dogfighting.