Reporter: Jessica Chapin
HUACHUCA CITY, Ariz (KGUN9- TV) - Police are on alert for dog-fighting in Huachuca city after they busted a puppy mill Tuesday, removing 31 pit bulls from a home. Animal Control says there are signs the dogs were being trained to fight.
Chris Morales lived in the neighborhood for 10 years, and the past two years he noticed the house had many dogs. He is moving this week, partly because of those neighbors who he says he's filed several complaints about before.
"It was hard to not notice as far as being a neighbor," said Morales, "You can only deal with so much stuff and when their house gets approached numerous amounts of times by the police and animal control you can't take it anymore."
Police say the person responsible for breeding the dogs wasn't home during the raid, but Morales was.
"We saw them storming in through the front door and then watching all those dogs get put into the animal control trucks," he said, "There were so many trucks it was unreal we didn't know how many were actually back there."
Animal Control officer Scott Allard says the conditions were practically uninhabitable.
"Fecal matter everywhere, trash thrown through the house," he said, "empty bags of dog food laying around."
Allard had received complaints before, and even removed a litter of dead puppies from the home. He says the dogs were hidden in the back yard behind privacy fences in kennels with anti-bark devices.
"It was a little frustrating because I wanted to talk to the guy, try to work it out with him, fix it," he said.
Allard says there were signs the dogs were involved in fighting activity.
Huachuca City Police Lt. Jennifer Fuller says it's something they don't see in their city, but brings up a disturbing possibility.
"A lot of times dog fighting runs in the same circles as gangs, weapons, drugs, etcetera," she said, "It can feed into a whole bunch of different enterprises."
Police are still trying to contact the person responsible and have not released the suspect's name as of yet. They are working on a warrant for his arrest.
Animal Control is welcoming donations from the community to help care for the dogs. They have already received more than 100 lbs of dog food. They are in need of food and towels. The dogs' fate will be decided by a judge.