BREAUX BRIDGE, LA (WAFB) - A man from Beaux Bridge was arrested and charged with 47 counts of cruelty to animals after investigators located an alleged dog fighting ring at his home. Deputies are now looking for a second suspect believed to be connected to the case.
"Investigators removed a total of forty-seven dogs from the property and seized items commonly associated with dog fighting," Ginny Higgins, St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office, said in a press release.
The bust happened on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at a home located in the 1400 block of Breaux Bridge Senior High School Road. We're told the majority of the dogs recovered are pit bulls.
"The dogs are going to need to be triaged and they will need to be evaluated as individuals," said Trevor Reeves, founder of America's Dog Pit Bull Rescue, which is based out of Prairieville. "I'm sure they're all in various stages of abuse. Hopefully all of them will be saved."
Reeves was contacted to potentially assist with the rescue effort. His organization will work with the primary rescue group to assess the needs of the dogs.
Reeves said he was not surprised when he learned the location of the alleged dog fighting ring.
"Historically, in the state of Louisiana, that area is the home to a lot of dog fighting," he explained. "Within 20 to 30 miles of where this fighting ring was busted is considered the heartland of dog fighting in America. There are some of the most notorious dog fighting breeders in that area.
"When I found out about the bust, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up."
Deputies arrested Jason Hasket, Jr., 25, of Natchitoches. Along with 47 counts of cruelty to animals, he's charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute schedule II CDS, possession with intent to distribute schedule III CDS, and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance. He was booked into the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center. He is being held on a $65,000 bond.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, deputies issued a warrant for the arrest of Antonio Boyd, 35, of Breaux Bridge. He's believed to be connect to the activities of the dog fighting ring. The warrant also includes weapon and drug charges.
Officials note that Boyd was arrested in November 2010 on 15 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, eight counts of simple cruelty to animals, and two counts of dog fighting.
If you know anything regarding Boyd's whereabouts, call the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office at (337) 394-3071.