Deputies break up Como dog fighting

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A Como man was charged with felony dog fighting after sheriff’s deputies broke up a dog fighting operation on Rayburn Road in west Panola County on Saturday, Dec. 2. Sheriff Shane Phelps said 29 dogs were rescued and have been getting medical care.

Phelps said deputies went to the residence at 256 Rayburn Road when a 911 call was placed from the address and then quickly hung up. When officers arrived they found a large group of people, apparently involved in illegal dog fighting.

“They scattered when officers drove up, but we were able to arrest the person that lives there and there will be more arrests to come,” Phelps said.

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Some of the dogs were in poor condition and others had scars and wounds from previous fighting.

Charged was Damien Jay Smoot, 37. 

Reports indicated that several of the vehicles left at the scene were from out of county, and some from out of state. The owners of those seized vehicles are being questioned this week.