MACON, Ga. (WVLT/ WCTV) -- Federal agents have rescued 156 dogs from a suspected illegal dog-fighting ring in central Georgia on Wednesday.
The rescued dogs are now with the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, many of the animals are malnourished with scarring and some are severely injured and will require surgery or other medical intervention.
Pictures released by investigators show some of the animals chained in filthy conditions and others with severe scars on their faces.
Investigators say one animal, a female pit bull, was chained and had broken legs. At least two dogs had emergency surgery to treat their injuries.
The dogs were seized after eleven search warrants were executed at properties in Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Peach, Talbot, Taylor and Webster counties. Federal officials say the warrants are part of a multi-month, multi-agency investigation into dog-fighting and drug trafficking.
No arrests have been announced.
"I am incredibly grateful to the law enforcement teams who came together from all over the region to rescue these abused animals as we continue to investigate this alleged dog fighting ring," said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. "Illegal dog fighting is a barbaric activity. Those who choose to violate the Animal Welfare Act face serious consequences, including federal prison time, where there is no parole."