Dog fighting in Acadiana part 1
It's considered a sport by some and a crime by many. Whatever the label, dog fighting has stayed under the radar of most law enforcement agencies for years.
The State Police and Acadiana area Police are cracking down on dog fighting.
Saint Martin Parish Animal Control workers are handling more and more dog fighting cases now that the agency knows what to look for. Cases in recent months include the arrest of a Saint Martin Parish Sheriff's Deputy on dog fighting charges after dogs and evidence were collected around his home. The arrest of a Catahoula man for allegedly raising and selling Pit Bulls for fighting. Evidence included bloodline documents for the dogs available to potential buyers. And arrests in connection with Breaux Bridge children trying to get dogs to fight. That video caused outrage after it was posted on a MySpace account and viewed by people around the country.
The sharing of information between State Police and local law enforcement agencies is the reason for the rise in dog fighting cases. Video evidence is part of the training being handed down from a 20 member State Police Task Force focusing on the blood sport. In the past evidence may have been missed because it wasn't obvious. State Trooper David Anderson says in the past they didn't know what to look for but now that they have been trained they are ready.
State Investigators say the arrest of former NFL star Michael Vick and other high profile dog fighting cases involving celebrities does two things. It could potentially glamorize the crime to some young people. It also proves dog fighting is a nationwide problem that needs to be addressed. These types of cases are to bring light to the fact that it's not just a small town or small communities involved in the dog fighting.
Here are some of the signs to look for concerning possible dog fighting activity in your area.
Animal Control Officials say dogs involved in the sport are often pit bulls usually suffering with major scars to their heads and or legs. There are often I.Vs or other types of medical equipment kept in the areas where the dogs are housed. The dogs are often kept on heavy long chains used to build up muscles and endurance. Tread mills are another tool used to keep the dogs in fighting shape.
Contact the State Police if you see any of these warning signs in your area.