WILKESBORO - A Superior Court judge yesterday ordered that Wilkes County destroy more than 127 pit bulls seized from a dog-fighting ring, angering people who had offered to adopt the dogs or help with their placement.
"Those dogs are going to be killed solely because of prejudice," said Ledy VanKavage, an attorney for Best Friends Animal Society, which had offered to pay to have the dogs evaluated and to spay or neuter the adoptable dogs.
"They should be judged as individuals just as people are," VanKavage said. "It's a massacre."
County officials have said they would abide by a judge's order, but that the judge didn't have a lot of choice. They said that state statutes define dogs involved in dog-fighting operations as dangerous and that a county ordinance requires that dangerous dogs be destroyed. That was yesterday's finding by Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson Jr.
The 127 pit bulls, including about 60 puppies, were seized on Dec. 10 during a raid on Wildside Kennels. It's unclear exactly how many dogs there are now. The dogs are being held in a secret location, and several litters of puppies have been born since the raid. After court yesterday, county officials estimated that there are about 150 dogs now.
Kennel owner Ed Faron, 61, pleaded guilty Thursday to 14 counts of felony dog fighting and was sentenced to 8 to 10 months in prison. His adopted son, Donni Juan Casanova, 18, pleaded guilty to one count of felony dog fighting and was given a suspended sentence of 6 to 8 months.
Wilson ordered the dogs destroyed yesterday after hearing from a prosecutor, the attorney for Wilkes County government, Wilkes County's animal-control director and two representatives from The Humane Society of the U.S., who all called for the dogs be euthanized.
Faron is author of a few books on breeding, training and promoting dog fighting. His books were the ones I contacted Amazon about not selling, which they refused to do. Maybe this will get some people's attention. This son-of-a-bitch really needs to be castrated. I'm livid! However, at the same time I am grateful that we have law enforcement committed to putting an end to these barbaric acts that people like him have somehow wrapped in their minds as social entertainment. This was a long, extensive investigation. Faron will go to jail, and for the rest of his natural life, he will be monitored, and therefore will not likely be able to continue his stock and trade...I hope.