Va. man faces 47 counts of animal cruelty in Md., dogs euthanized

A Prince William County, Virginia, man was charged with 47 counts of animal cruelty in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, after law enforcement officials said they located a suspected dog fighting arena earlier this year.

The State’s Attorney’s Office for St. Mary’s County brought the charges against Damien Terrell Wilson, 48, of Woodbridge, on Thursday.

It said St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s deputies received a tip about the location of a suspected dog fighting arena on a SMECO power line cut-through on Feb. 10.

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s deputies, along with members of St. Mary’s County Animal Control Division, responded to find evidence of dog fighting at the location.

Eleven dogs were rescued and paraphernalia tied to dog fighting was discovered. Three of them had to be euthanized after behavioral evaluations determined they “were found so overtly aggressive that rehabilitation was deemed too dangerous,” according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Wilson is scheduled for an initial appearance in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court on Sept. 29.

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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