A domestic violence call led to the discovery of a mid-size marijuana grow operation and possible dog fighting operation this weekend in the Graham area.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 36-year-old man Saturday morning on suspicion of first-degree domestic violence assault and unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
They also seized 22 pit bulls – most with scars all over their bodies and others with fresh wounds – that were caged separately on the property in the 9200 block of 229th Street East. The dogs are being housed with the Humane Society of Tacoma-Pierce County.
Deputies also confiscated syringes, antibiotics and literature on giving supplements to fighting dogs, Troyer said.
“It appears they were doing their own animal care,” he said. “They had antibiotics, needles and everything else to do it themselves.”
Troyer said deputies were initially called about 9 a.m. Saturday for a man outside the house, waving a gun and making threats. They arrived and arrested the man without incident.
The deputies obtained warrants and searched the house and surrounding property. That’s when they found the marijuana grow operation and pit bulls.
“Some of the dogs were aggressive toward the officers when we got there,” Troyer said. “All the dogs have scars on their faces, heads, necks and chest areas.”
Investigators also found treadmills believed to be used to train the dogs and dog bones and remains.
A veterinarian responded to the house to evaluate the dogs. The Sheriff’s Department’s animal control officers, special investigations unit and the Humane Society are involved in the investigation.
Troyer said the investigation into the dog fighting is just starting.
“We’ve interviewed some other people and we are going to continue with it,” he said.