Pregnant woman and boyfriend arrested for dog fighting, cruelty to animals

Published: Jul. 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM CDT
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House where dogs were found
House where dogs were found
One of the dogs rescued from the house
One of the dogs rescued from the house

DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish Sheriff's detectives have arrested a woman and a man accused of dog fighting and animal cruelty.

Brittany Ward, 24, was arrested on Monday night at her residence in the 700 block of Sixth St. in Donaldsonville. Deputies said they saw several dogs in the backyard with chains around their necks and no access to food or water.

Joseph Duncan, 28, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

Ward's mother, Valerie Bennett, who lives across the street, admitted her daughter knew what was allegedly going on at the house, but she does not think Ward should be held responsible.

"She does know he dog fight. But it's not her fault that she in the house and she doesn't know what goes on on the outside of the house," Bennett said.

Police said two of the dogs had scabs that appear to be from fighting. Another dog was found dead with bite marks and duct tape around its muzzle. Detectives said it is typical for a dog to be used as bait in a fighting ring.

Ward and Duncan are charged each with five counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal, five counts of confined animals, lack of necessary food and water, and dog fighting.

The four pit bulls and another small dog found alive in the yard are being held in the Ascension Parish Animal Shelter.

Ward's bond was set Tuesday afternoon at $215,000.

Bond has not yet been set for Duncan.

Duncan was convicted of dog fighting in 2003.

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