An illegal fighting dog breeding operation has been uncovered in County Down, Ireland, says the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA).
The discovery was made on Monday at an isolated farmhouse on the Katesbridge Road about a mile from the village of Kinallen in South Down. More than 100 animals seized are being cared for by the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Some of the dogs rescued from a farm in County Down had never seen daylight, animal welfare officials have said.
It is the third find of its kind in the area in the past five days.
The USPCA and police operation followed the discovery of two suspected illegal puppy farms in the same area last week.
Stephen Philpott of the USPCA said he believed the latest search had uncovered an illegal breeding and training operation for pit-bull type fighting dogs.
"There's equipment in here for training dogs for fighting and there are other pieces of evidence here which we believe was causing unnecessary suffering to animals," he said.
The latest premises uncovered is at Dromara, less than 15 miles from the site of two raids in Katesbridge last week, where the charity uncovered 150 dogs at two camps within a mile of each other which are now being removed by the USPCA.
USPCA chief executive Stephen Philpott said all three operations were "definitely linked."
Speaking about the dogs recovered last week, Mr Philpott said the conditions the animals were being kept in were "overcrowded and inadequate."
"Having had time to examine some of the animals we reckon some had been there up to a year," he said. He went to say that the conditions the animals were found in were "distressing."
Mr Philpott said, "One man had recognised a dog from a BBC News television broadcast, which he claimed had been stolen in October.
"When he discovered his dog here, it recognised him immediately. It was one of the best moments in my 12 years in the USPCA."
He said that they had been swamped by offers from the public to give the dogs a home, but at the moment the animals were in a "legal limbo."
"We don't know who owns them, we don't know how they came to be there and I have to talk to the other agencies to try to take this forward."
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