Sheriff: Meigs County man allegedly operated 'bearbaiting' event

A Meigs County Sheriff's Cruiser (Courtesy of Meigs County Sheriff website)

MEIGS COUNTY -- A Meigs County man is alleged to have been operating a "bearbaiting" event, according to a release from the Meigs County Sheriff.

Sheriff Keith Wood reported the Ohio Department of Agriculture Enforcement Division executed a search warrant on Bush Road in Long Bottom. The man living there owned a bear and possessed a Dangerous Wild Animal Permit. The man is not being named at this time because he has not been formally charged.

At that location, the man is alleged to have been operating a “bearbaiting” event whereby several hunting dogs were released inside an enclosure, attacking the bear. Information received by officers was that the man was charging admission of $20 per dog to participate.

In addition to the man and his juvenile son, seven males, two females and eight children were present at the event with the majority of participants being from West Virginia.

At least one child was observed inside an unapproved enclosure while dogs were attacking the loose bear. Two of the males had handguns.

Bearbaiting is defined under Animal Fights, Section 959.15 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Assistance was provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drone Team, who obtained significant video footage of the illegal activity as well as the Washington County and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices who provided tactical assistance.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio State Highway Patrol provided significant assistance as well.

The bear was seized pursuant to the warrant by DWA program personnel. Bailey and all spectators present are subject to criminal charges which will be presented to the Meigs County Prosecutor for Grand Jury consideration on felony charges.

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