MEIGS COUNTY -- A Meigs County man has been charged after the sheriff said he was suspected to have been operating a "bearbaiting" event.
Clinton J. Bailey, 51, is charged with 16 counts in connection with the event, three of which are unclassified felonies for animal fighting.
He also has two fourth-degree misdemeanor charges for animal fighting, two misdemeanor charges for falsification and nine dangerous animal misdemeanor charges.
He was arraigned on Jan. 24 and released on a personal recognizance bond, according to Meigs County Common Pleas Court online court records. His next appearance will be Feb. 26.
In November, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Enforcement Division executed a search warrant on Bush Road in Long Bottom, according to the Meigs County Sheriff. Bailey owned a bear and possessed a Dangerous Wild Animal Permit.
At that location, Bailey is alleged to have been operating a “bearbaiting” event whereby several hunting dogs were released inside an enclosure, attacking the bear. Officers received information Bailey was charging admission of $20 per dog to participate.
In addition to Bailey, 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.