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home : news : news August 12, 2022

5/27/2022 5:24:00 AM
Gastonia Man Charged With Dog Fighting, Animal Cruelty

Gaston County Police
Press Release

On Thursday morning April 28th, Gaston County Police Animal Care and Enforcement responded to 1911 Hemlock Avenue in Gastonia after receiving a report of dogs fighting in the back yard of the residence.  When Animal Care and Enforcement Specialists arrived, they found one dead dog and 29 other dogs caged in the back yard living in poor conditions. There was an immediate concern for their health as some were found suffering from obvious injuries. 

After efforts were made to contact the residents, search warrants were obtained related to possible animal cruelty and dog fighting activity.  Goats and rabbits were also located at the property.  All of the animals were removed from the property and examined by a veterinarian for evaluation and medical treatment.  All of the animals were eventually transferred to undisclosed locations where they are being rehabilitated based on their medical needs.  Police say they are safe and being well cared for. 

Gaston County Police conducted an investigation and presented the case to the Gaston County District Attorney’s Office.  On Thursday (May 26th), Gaston County Police charged Terrance Marvin Cooper, age 39, of 1911 Hemlock Avenue, with 30 counts of Animal Cruelty and 30-counts of Dog Fighting.  All offenses charged in this case are felonies.  Cooper is currently being held in the Gaston County Jail on a $325,000 secured bond.   

Owning, possessing, or training dogs to be used in dog fighting activity is a felony criminal offense.  Causing or permitting animals to fight resulting in unjustifiable pain, suffering or death is animal cruelty.  Anyone with information regarding this investigation or other dog fighting activity in Gaston County is asked to contact Detective J. Brienza at 704-866-3320, Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement at 704-866-3300 or Gaston County CrimeStoppers at 704-861-8000.    

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