Pit bulls are known worldwide for their fighting ability and their determination to win at all cost, but what happens to the canine when it no longer can win the fight and bring in money for its owner?
The pit bull is the Mike Tyson of the boxing ring, striking down an opponent until it gets a taste of blood, sometimes fighting to the finish.
Gadsden County deputies were in one sawdust community looking for illegal drug activity, but quickly came across a group of men who appeared to be part of a pit bull fighting ring, and as a result deputies have been more vigilant in putting an end to this sort of activity.
Humane Society of America officials say thousands of people fight animals in the United States. It's become a national epidemic.
Dir. Laura Bevan says, "We get a lot of complaints of dog fighting. Sometimes it's the street fighting where some of the neighborhood kids are pitting dogs against each other, but a lot of times it’s the hobbyist level or at the professional fighting level, more than likely it's the hobbyist level.”
The love of pit bull fighting has gone public with rap stars like DMX entering the fray. He's shown with two dogs pitted against each other in a music video. As a result of the video and the popularity of the sport, Humane Society officials say more teens are now getting into the act.
Sheriff Morris Young of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office says, "It's a big betting scam. We think that there are multiple subjects involved, some of the NFL players, and we're still doing an investigation into that."
Human Society officials say the betting scams can yield thousands of dollars, in some cases millions.
Laura Bevan says, "They make money in the fight, they make money in the breeding of the puppies, the stud fees, some people will sell the treadmills the other equipment. One man was just convicted of selling videos over state lines."
But the one video you won't see in the stores is of the dogs who are no longer able to stay in the ring.
Vickey Steier, Animal Control supervisor, says, "What they do with their dogs is dump them when they don't meet up to matches, and they dump them on certain streets of the city and we get calls [that] there's an injured dog and discover it was in a fight."
Often times it's a fight that ends in the final round with the dog sustaining multiple injuries and forcing Animal Service to put them to sleep.
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