Neighbors who lived nearby discovered the bodies in the creek off FM Road 2685 about 4-5 miles south of the Gilmer Country Club, said Dolle. The animals’ remains were taken to Gilmer veterinarian Dr. Cherie Nazzal, who determined the canines were used for dogfighting and died from that, he said.
Six of the dogs were pit bulls, while the others were pit mixes, said Dolle. Two were very young “bait dogs” used to train the others to kill, while the others were probably less than 3-4 years old, he said.
The bodies posed “an environmental hazard” because they were polluting the creek, which runs into Lake Gladewater, said Dolle,who was called into the investigation by Pct. 3 Constable Stanley Jenkins.
They are conducting the investigation, which Dolle said Monday night has “had some success.” The Pct. 1 constable asked that anyone with information on the case, or on any dogfighting in the county, contact his office at 903-680-8356 and leave a voicemail if he is not in.
“We’re going to go wherever it (the investigation) needs to go” to identify who killed the dogs, Dolle said.
Pct. 3 County Comm. Frank Berka said Tuesday that someone contacted him about the dogs Friday, and that he in turn called Jenkins. Berka also said he contacted County Judge Dean Fowler and that they determined the situation posed an emergency, thus allowing the county Road and Bridge Department to remove the animals’ remains.
Dolle praised citizen Brandon Eitel for donning chest waders and voluntarily helping to remove the dogs from water that was more than waist-deep. Eitel helped float the bodies over to where a bucket could collect them, the constable said.
Dolle also said he contacted Jacqui Lynch, an animal control officer for the city of Longview, who advised him to have the remains transported to a veterinarian for examination. The animals’ corpses were taken to Dr. Nazzal in a county dump truck, and the Road and Bridge Dept. later buried the dogs, said Dolle.
Jenkins said Monday he enlisted Dolle’s help partly because the bodies were found near the border between his and Dolle’s precincts, and he was unsure which precinct they were in. (Dolle said they turned out to be in Jenkins’).
Jenkins said he also secured Dolle’s assistance because Dolle had “a lot more experience” than him in dealing with situations involving dogs.
Berka praised Road and Bridge Administrator Andy Jordan and both constables for their work on the situation. Dolle expressed appreciation to Fowler for authorizing the Road and Bridge Dept. to assist.