Owner of 49 dogs rescued from suspected Tacoma dogfighting ring won’t get them back, judge rules

Photo courtesy of Q13 News

TACOMA, Wash. (KCPQ) – The owner of dozens of pit bulls found locked in crates inside a Tacoma garage, possibly for dogfighting, will not get them back after a Pierce County judge’s ruling on Thursday.

After being tipped off by neighbors on December 18, authorities discovered 49 dogs living in deplorable conditions, with some of the pit bulls suffering from injuries and malnourishment. Sheriff’s deputies also found paraphernalia associated with dogfighting and breeding at the home, including medications, syringes, first-aid supplies and training tools.

The rescued animals belonged to 40-year-old Elmer James Givens Jr. He was arrested for animal cruelty after the raid, but Givens was released after court officials say they didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute.

Givens maintained his innocence and requested the animals be returned to him, sparking furor from animal rights activists who packed the courtroom last week.

“I want to be treated fairly. I haven’t been charged with anything,” Givens said after a January 9 hearing.

The hearing was postponed until Thursday where the judge denied Givens’ request.