December 4, 2023

29 Dogs Seized, One Arrested In Alleged Dog Fighting Ring At Panola County Home

Morgan Howard

29 dogs were seized after a phone call was made to 911 in Panola County.

According to the sheriff’s department, at 7:05 p.m. on December 2, Panola County E-911 call center received a 911 hang-up call from 256 Rayburn Road, west of Como, Mississippi.

Deputy Brian Howell responded to the address and encountered a large mass of people at this address.

They all fled in multiple vehicles, many from other counties and out of state.

Deputy Howell realized that a dogfight was in progress or in the process of beginning at the address.

He requested backup and was able to secure the scene.

A total of 29 dogs, in various stages of health, many of them with scars from previous fights, were seized by the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.

The dogs are now getting the best available care.

13 vehicles were also seized at the scene whose owners or occupants were participating in the dog fighting.

37-year-old Damien Jay Smoot of Como was arrested. He was the homeowner of the house where the operation was taking place.

He has been charged with dog fighting, which is a felony.

This investigation is ongoing and many more arrests are expected.

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