Officials in Sumter County, South Carolina busted a big dogfighting ring which led to 27 dogs being rescued from a life of horror. The suspect, Alva Timmons Ridgeway, now faces a combined total of 135 years in prison and $135,000 in fines if he is found guilty.

In addition to seizing the dogs, deputies found equipment consistent with dogfighting. The dogs seized show signs of bites, scars, abuse, and injury. Sadly, one of the dogs seized died a few days later from an infection.

In a statement to the media, Sheriff Anthony Dennis said, “We certainly want to save as many dogs as we can, but we also want to protect the public should some of these dogs be too aggressive to take home. We appreciate the community’s encouragement so far and the offers to foster or adopt these dogs.”

The suspect signed the animals over to the county, and a veterinarian has confirmed the multiple injuries they suffered.

Authorities released images of some of the dogs to the media. Meantime, Ridgeway has also been charged with 24 counts of misdemeanor ill treatment of animals, three counts of felony ill treatment of animals, one count of facilitating animal fighting and baiting, one count of possession of a firearm by a violent felon and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle valued at more than $10,000.

Source: WACH Fox 57