SUMNER -- Five adults and two juveniles were arrested in a raid early Friday morning by units of the Worth County Sheriff's Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the United States Marshal's Service, the Georgia State Patrol and animal control units with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter.

The seven were arrested on charges varying from drug warrants to cruelty to animals.

"These guys had a pretty sophisticated operation working there," Regina Wells, Director of the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter said.

The animal control unit seized 67 pit bulldogs in the raid that had been used, conditioned and bred for fighting.

According to Wells, the owners of the home in the tiny Worth County community had treadmills as well as pools used to condition the animals for fighting.

"All of the dogs are in good condition; other than old scars, none of them looked to have been mistreated recently," Wells said.

Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins said that all of the units involved worked flawlessly to make the arrest.

"We had the U.S. Marshals and G.B.I. stake out the place, the ATF was called in to assist and the (Georgia) State Patrol Helicopter was dispatched while looking for these guys. We had all of our bases covered," Tompkins said.

Those arrested are currently being housed in the Worth County Jail pending arraignment.

To contact reporter JD Sumner, call 382-4321, ext. 207.

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