Officials in Wilkes County in northwest North Carolina say that the judge had only one choice given a state law that defines fighting dogs as dangerous and a county ordinance that requires the destruction of all dangerous dogs, the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal reported. But animal rights advocates say that the ruling is cruel and too broad.
Best Friends Animal Society has offered to take the dogs for evaluation and to spay or neuter any that can be adopted.
"Those dogs are going to be killed solely because of prejudice," Ledy VanKavage, a lawyer for the group, told the newspaper. "They should be judged as individuals just as people are. It's a massacre."
Investigators seized the dogs from Wildside Kennels on Dec. 10. They took 127 dogs in the raid but some puppies have been born since.
Ed Faron, the owner of the kennel, pleaded guilty last week and received an 8-to 10-month prison sentence. His adopted son and the son's fiancee received suspended sentences, the Journal said.