Police begin investigating after receiving several dogfighting tips

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Sheriff's Department has begun investigations into two cases of alleged dogfighting in Gwinnett County, officials announced Tuesday.

Only one day after Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway announced his plans to offer a $10,000 personal reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting in Gwinnett County, department spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said the department has already received calls and e-mails with possible tips.

"I don't think we really knew what to expect," Bourbonnais said of the rapidness of the tips coming into the department. "We hoped there wouldn't be any people involved in it (dogfighting) in Gwinnett County - I think that's always a hope you have."

Bourbonnais said the department has received several calls from Gwinnett residents saying they know of people living in the county who may be involved in the fighting, two of which provided investigators with names and enough information to begin investigations. Bourbonnais said it is unknown if fights are occurring in the county, but information leads investigators to believe there are residents allegedly involved.

At this time, Bourbonnais said she could not reveal what parts of the county the tips have come from, what the investigations entail so far or how long it could take to make an arrest.

"There's no way to tell how long it could take," Bourbonnais said. "You just follow an investigation wherever it leads."

In addition to tips of alleged activity, Bourbonnais said Conway has also gotten quite a bit of praise for his efforts to stop dogfighting in Gwinnett.

"The Sheriff's gotten probably 15 e-mails from people thanking him for what he's doing," Bourbonnais said.

Conway said his mission in offering the reward of his own funds is to keep the county dogfighting free.

"It's barbaric and wrong and I just want to make sure it's not going on in Gwinnett County," Conway said.