SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 38-year-old Alva Ridgeway after uncovering what appears to be a major dogfighting operation, according to officials.
Deputies arrived at a home on Lowder Road to serve an outstanding bench warrant on Thursday morning. When they got there, deputies noticed a dogfighting pit in plain sight with what appeared to be animal blood on the walls. Deputies also found equipment normally used in dogfighting operations and heard dogs barking behind the home.
After getting a search warrant for the home, deputies found more equipment including a treadmill and a stand used to force breeding.
In total, 27 dogs were found on the property attached to logging chains. According to officials, many of the dogs were injured and had scars while many looked extremely thin because of a lack of food.
Ridgeway has been charged with several counts of cruelty to animals and dogfighting.
Officials are also working with a veterinarian to treat the dogs. SCSO has also reached out to animal rescue organizations across the state to see if some of the dogs can be rescued.
The investigation is ongoing.