Multiple agencies participate in closing down alleged ‘bearbaiting’

LONG BOTTOM, Ohio – Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood reports that on Saturday, November 11, 2017, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Enforcement Division executed a search warrant with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office at the residence of Clinton Bailey, Bush Road in Long Bottom, a Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) permittee who owns a bear.

Bailey is alleged to have been operating a “bearbaiting” event whereby several hunting dogs were released inside an enclosure thus attacking the bear. Information received by officers was that Bailey was charging admission of $20.00 per dog to participate.

Bearbaiting is defined under Animal Fights, Section 959.15 of the Ohio Revised Code. In addition to Bailey and his juvenile son, seven (7) males, two (2) females, and eight (8) children were present at the event with the majority of participants being from West Virginia. At least one (1) child was observed inside an unapproved enclosure while dogs were attacking the loose bear. Two of the males had handguns on their persons.

Assistance was provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Drone Team, who obtained significant video footage of the illegal activity as well as the Washington County and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices who provided tactical assistance. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio State Highway Patrol provided significant assistance as well.

The bear was seized pursuant to the warrant by DWA program personnel. Bailey and all spectators present are subject to criminal charges which will be presented to the Meigs County Prosecutor for Grand Jury consideration on felony charges.

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.