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Officers make dogfighting arrests in Missouri, Illinois and other states

By Adam Allington, KWMU / AP

St. Louis, MO – As many as 350 dogs have been seized and about 30 people arrested in raids across five states including Missouri and Illinois.

Animal welfare groups are calling the largest simultaneous raid of dogfighting operations in U.S history.

In Missouri, federal and state officers seized more than 150 Pit Bull Terriers in early morning raids at four different kennels.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District charged five men with purchasing, breeding and training Pit Bulls for dog fighting rings.

The indictments allege that the defendants routinely abandoned or destroyed Pit Bulls that lost fights, did not perform aggressively enough, or became too disabled to fight.

In addition to Missouri, the investigation also led to charges against defendants in Illinois, Texas, Iowa and Oklahoma.

The U.S. Attorney also filed motions to place the animals in the care and custody of the Humane Society of Missouri.