Private eye Norred quarterbacks drive against Georgia dogfighters

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2010:


ATLANTA–Exit Michael Vick, the ex-Atlanta Falcons
quarterback who was among the biggest names in both pro football and
professional dogfighting.
Enter Greg Norred, who in 1982 founded the security firm
Norred & Associates. “We conduct workplace investigations and
provide workplace security for companies throughout the country,”
Norred recites.
Norred also busts dogfighters.

“Over the past two years our investigations have resulted in
21 raids, 26 arrests, and the rescue of approximately 415 dogs,”
Norred told ANIMAL PEOPLE.
Dogfighting was already a felony in Georgia when Vick was
arrested in Virginia in April 2007, but Georgia was one of three
states where keeping fighting dogs was not illegal, and one of two
states where attending a dogfight was not a crime. In November 1999
law enforcement famously broke up the “Super Bowl of Dogfighting” at
Odum, Georgia. Sixty-five people were taken into custody. Most
apparently walked with light penalties or none. “Hundreds” were
reportedly arrested in a February 2004 dogfighting raid in Newton
County, but again most escaped substantial penalties. Except for a
previously convicted cocaine trafficker who drew four years in prison
in July 2002 for organizing dogfights in Millen, Georgia, Georgia
dogfighters tended to get off easy.
The Vick case enabled Woodstock state senator Chip Rogers to
pass a bill closing the gaps in the Georgia dogfighting law, after
years of effort. But even as Rogers’ bill moved toward passage in
December 2007, charges against three of four alleged dogfighters
were dismissed in a case in Snellville.
Rogers’ law took effect in May 2008. Norred had already
prepared to enforce it. Working with the Humane Society of the U.S.,
Norred in January 2008 estabished a hotline to collect confidential
tips about dog fighting: 1-877-215-2250, or
“Response was good,” Norred recalls. “We offer up to $5,000
for information leading to the arrest and conviction of dogfighters,
but only about 20% of the callers even ask for the reward.”
Reports of raids mentioning the Norred role began appearing
in July 2008, but the coverage tended to understate the scale of the
effort, even when Brooke Baldwin and Susan Brown of CNN took notice
in October 2009.
“I’m an animal lover. I’ve always been an animal lover,”
Norred told Baldwin and Brown. “In the wake of the Michael Vick
case, I thought there might be something I could do.”
“All of our work is pro bono and we do not accept donations,”
Norred told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “I do not have a budget. My company has
spent over $200,000 investigating these cases in our first two years,
and there appears to be no end in sight yet. Our original goal was
that after cleaning up Georgia we would move to neighboring states,
but it’s a bigger problem than I initially thought. Our biggest
obstacle is housing the dogs post-raid. They have to be held as
evidence and most counties in Georgia don’t have animal control
shelters. Those that do, don’t have space.
“We have partnered with the Holland Ware Foundation and the
Atlanta Humane Society,” Norred added. “The Atlanta Humane Society
provides care for the rescued dogs and the Holland Ware Foundation
funds the care and the reward.”

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