The extensive raid is no surprise, said Christy Counts, executive director of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society.
"This is a huge underground business. It’s something that goes largely unregulated and has negative implications in all parts of our community,” she said.
Counts said it’s difficult to know whether the seized dogs will have the temperament to make them good candidates for rehabilitation. She said the local society will work with the national group as the seizure operation plays out.
"I’m glad this happened. It’s going to help raise awareness,” Counts said. "I think people see situations like Michael Vick and don’t understand this is happening in our own backyard.”
Pro football star Vick served about 1
years in prison for his role in a kennel on his property in Virginia.
Law enforcement cooperation in the Oklahoma arrest included agents with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, as well as the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Cherokee and Adair counties sheriff’s departments.
Matlock appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon, waived his right to an identity hearing and was ordered released under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office. He is to appear in federal court in Tyler, Texas, on Tuesday.
The raids followed a more than yearlong investigation spurred by information from the Humane Society of Missouri, which drew in other groups. Dogfighting is a felony in every state.