Officers train to crack down on animal crimes

Law enforcement and animal control officers now know how to better protect animals. / Mary Green

Law enforcement and animal control officers from across Georgia and other parts of the country now know how to better protect animals and crack down on people who are cruel to them.

That comes after two days in Valdosta at the Southeast Regional Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Training, hosted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Training sessions included investigations into animal fighting, using undercover techniques and collecting evidence.

Joseph Poux, Jr., deputy chief of the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, said both dog and cock fighting are big problems across the entire country.

But stamping out these crimes isn't just about helping animals.

"There are links between animal fighting and guns, drugs, organized crime, gangs. There's also been connections with child abuse, domestic violence, all related to the animal fighting industry," he said.

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