Training Session Brings Awareness to Dog Fighting

King, a Pit Bull Terrier declared vicious by Lincoln/Lancaster County Animal Control.
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The Nebraska Humane Society is giving law enforcement the tools they need to help understand and better educate themselves about animal abuse and dog fighting.

It's a crime happening more and more in the state, and organizers of the training say if an officer spots dog fighting, often times there will be other crimes taking place too.

Experts say it's a wide spread problem mainly in the Midwest.

The Nebraska Humane Society says this is what they see when they rescue pit bulls from being trained to fight.

"Sadly pit bulls are mainly used in dog fighting, they were breed at one time to be fight type dogs, however we feel at the Nebraska Humane Society they are good dogs," said Mark Langan V.P. of Field Operations with the Nebraska Humane Society.

Dog fighting is a big underground business, and Langan says some of the dogs can be sold for as much as $10,000.

"We're taking a very proactive approach at the Nebraska Humane Society to educate law enforcement educate animal control officers as to what to look for regards to dog fighting operations," said Langan.

It's these officers that are on the front lines and by getting educated here - they could be able to spot this type of crime more easily. Some of these officials have already seen abuse.

"And more on the level of neglect, animals being left in back yards, tethered without access to food or water," said Officer Jimmy Olson with the Grand Island Police Department.

For Officer Olson it's personal, he has man's best friend in mind, but dog fighters don't. Experts say they are thinking about money and other crimes.

"I've come to learn dog fighters and drug dealers go hand in hand," commented Langan.

Which is why Langan says if an officer can spot a dog fight scenario, they can often make a bigger case, and the public can help fight the crime too.

The Nebraska Humane Society offers cash rewards for different types of tips leading to arrests. If you think dog fighting is happening in your neighborhood call authorities.