Crime & Safety

Georgia Man Arrested on Dogfighting Charges, 106 Dogs Rescued

A Georgia man is behind bars after authorities discovered he was breeding, training, and facilitating the dogfighting of over one hundred pit bulls in connection with a dog fighting ring.

On November 8, 2022, after a lengthy investigation and securing a warrant, investigators with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office arrested arrested 55-year-old Vincent Lemark Burrell for his role in a massive dog fighting operation.

Detectives found 106 dogs, mostly Pit Bulls, in various degrees of existence. Some of the dogs were emaciated, while others were strong and extremely aggressive toward other dogs.

Dogs were tied to trees, tied to metal stobs in the ground, and were kept without being properly hydrated and fed. These animals were tied to various things using large and extremely heavy logging chains and thick collars. Many of these dogs were basically left in the elements with little to no shelter for days on end. Furthermore, these dogs were not being seen on a regular basis or vaccinated by a veterinarian.

“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,” a spokesperson with the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

“Some of the dogs were housed in the basement of the home where the presence (along with the odor) of urine and feces was so strong, authorities had to wear protective equipment just to be able safely enter the home. Conditions where dogs were being housed, both inside and on the exterior of this property, were not fit for humans, much less dogs.”

-Paulding County Sheriff’s Office

All of the 106 dogs were rescued by authorities and placed with various rescue facilities where they can begin their rehabilitation.

Preliminarily, Burrell was arrested without incident at his home and charged with the following offenses:

  • Cruelty to Animals (Felony)
  • Dog Fighting (Felony)

He’s currently being held in the Paulding County Jail without bond. Although this investigation is still in its infancy, the Sheriff’s Office said it expects over one hundred additional counts against Burrell as this case continues to unfold.

Sheriff Gary Gulledge stated, “In cases like these, we have to conduct a lengthy and thorough investigation. This is not something that we can just put together in a few days, cases like these are comprehensive and require us to work with many local, state, and federal entities. I am proud of the teamwork that has been exhibited in this case and 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”

The Sheriff’s Office also thanked:

  • Friends of the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, Inc.
  • East Paulding Animal Hospital
  • New Hope Animal Hospital
  • Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue
  • Hiram Animal Hospital
  • Cedarcrest Animal Hospital
  • Frank Ortiz of the Cedarcrest Animal Hospital
  • Jessica Rock of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia
  • Steve Hammond, Director of Cobb County Animal Control

Detectives encourage anyone who has any information about this case 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.

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter:

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