A Rome man is in jail with no bond following an investigation that found he was operating a facility in Floyd County where he would train and condition fighting dogs.
Jacob Driver Jr, 50, of an East Rome address, was arrested at his home Tuesday morning and charged with felony violation of the dog fighting statute and cruelty to animals. Police removed 17 pit bulls from one location, which were found chained in the half-acre yard behind a privacy fence. One other was found at his home.
The investigation by Officer Kelsi Wade shows that Driver was tracking the history and performance of his animals to prove their value and advertise them as good breeding dogs. Evidence found at his operation matches others who train and groom the animals for sport fighting.
Police searched Driver’s home on East 20th Street as well as the vacant house at 60 Weathington Road where he kept the dogs. When police arrived the dogs were restrained with heavy industrial chains anchored in the ground by car axles that were buried in the ground. Floyd County Public Works assisted police with pulling the heavy anchors from the ground to destroy the illegal training facility.
Evidence found at the location indicates the dogs were groomed to increase agitation and hostility toward other dogs. Equipment identified at the house is similar to evidence found in dog fighting cases. This equipment builds strength and endurance and includes thick collars, heavy chains and weighted vests. The combined weight of the 17 chains was 169 pounds; the heaviest chain was 20 pounds.
Floyd County Police Code Enforcement investigates animal crimes as well as any violation of county code, to include illegal dumping and nuisance violations. Animal Control assisted with the investigation and recovery of the animals, as well as United States Department of Agriculture and an Animal Crimes Prosecutor from the Towaliga Judicial Circuit of Georgia. Partners of these types frequently provide training animal cruelty investigations and provide guidance in evidence collection.
Others who assisted in the search warrants include Rome-Floyd Metro Task Force, Special Operations and FCPD investigators.