Statement for Press


Animal Wellness Groups Offer Reward for Information in Mississippi Shooting Deaths Linked to Deadly Dogfighting Ring

Victim’s mother asks for help. Sheriffs have little information to go on despite dozens of potential witnesses at the scene

Covington County, Miss. — A double homicide that occurred late last month where two young men were both shot in the head has now been linked to a largescale illegal dogfighting event.

Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the execution-style shooting death of two men from Collins, and information regarding the operators of the animal fighting event.

Wayne Pacelle, President of Animal Wellness Action, issued this statement:

“Dogfighting is barbaric, but it is almost always bound up with narcotics trafficking, gambling, money laundering, and other crimes,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action.  “And in this case the dogfight was the setting for a double homicide, with a possible execution-style killing of two young men. It is critical that people with knowledge of these horrifying human and animal crimes step forward and give information to the sheriff to apprehend individuals who will continue to menace the community.”

The shooting happened on Nov. 25 at a dogfighting event that took place on private land in the Jones Chapel community. Dozens of people were reported at the event, possibly upwards of 200, with individuals who came outside of Mississippi. The address and property owner, as well as event organizer(s) have not been disclosed.

The shooting victims were brought to the hospital in the back of a pickup truck shortly after midnight and were pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m., according to Covington County Coroner Chris DaQuila, who identified them as 25-year-old D’Andre “Peanut” Ducksworth and 27-year-old Reshun Goudy. Both men were shot once in the head, in what may have been execution-style killings. 

The mother of Ducksworth has made a plea on social media, urging witnesses to step forward. The FBI and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are assisting in this case. Despite dozens of potential witnesses, no possible leads have been reported.

Animal fighting events serve as breeding grounds for criminal activities involving illegal weapons, deadly drugs such as fentanyl, and violence against humans and animals. Dogfighting constitutes a felony in Mississippi and is also a federal offense. 

Animal Wellness Action and the Center urge law enforcement to expedite the investigation and disclose critical information related to the shooting deaths and any criminal animal fighting ring.

Dogfighting constitutes a felony in Mississippi.

For media inquiries or more information, please contact: Desiree Bender at (501) 450-8799 or email:

Anyone with information should contact the Covington County Sheriff’s Office at (601) 765-8281.

More on the Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act, H.R. 2742 and S. 1529:

Nationwide, more than 375 law enforcement agencies, agricultural trade associations, and animal welfare groups are asking Congress to pass the FIGHT Act. 

The FIGHT Act, amending Section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act, would enhance the enforcement opportunities by banning simulcasting and gambling of animal fighting ventures; halting the shipment of mature roosters (chickens only) shipped through the U.S. mail (it is already illegal to ship dogs through the mail), creating a citizen suit provision after proper notice to federal authorities to allow private right of action against illegal animal fighters, and enhancing forfeiture provisions to include real property for animal fighting crimes.

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering the Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act, and the authors hope to include the provision as an amendment to the pending Farm bill. Both pieces of legislation were driven by concerns for the barbarism of animal fighting, other criminal behavior commingled with it, and disease threats to poultry posed by transporting fighting roosters.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter