Officers train to put stop to 'blood sports'


by Chelsea Rabideau

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 11:42 PM

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s a move sparked by all the recent cases of animal cruelty in Kentuckiana. The ASPCA is joining forces with law enforcement to prevent blood sports like cock fighting and dog fighting.

Unfortunately, these blood sport rings can be incredibly difficult to uncover. So, officers from around Kentuckiana are pooling their resources, learning together what they can do to stay one step ahead.

On a table sat tools of a dangerous and deadly trade, blood sports.

“It’s just one of the more clandestine, secretive subculture criminal activities,” explained Terry Mills. He’s an expert at sniffing out blood sports, working with the ASPCA.

Recently in Louisville, a pit bull, now called Frodo, was found tied to a fence with duct tape around his mouth, bite scars covering his body; a likely victim of dog-fighting. He had to have his muzzle reattached and one of his back legs amputated. He’s gotten a lot of attention, but he’s not alone.

“What a lot of people do is they’ll dump dogs either in the alley, they’ll dump dogs in the park, and then we just find the dog either wandering in the park and when we pick them up, there’s scars all over them. It’s obvious they’ve been fought,” Lt. Adam Hamilton with Louisville Metro Animal Services said.

Thousands of dogs, saved from a life of fighting, fill rehab facilities across the country. Dog fighting is a felony, punishable by up to five years in jail. But, it’s incredibly difficult to prosecute.

“A lot of time the enforcement drives them deeper underground and, of course, each time we take enforcement action, they learn from that,” Mills said.

But, LMAS and the ASPCA aren’t giving up. They’ve teamed up to teach officers from 12 different agencies what to watch for and other methods to hopefully stay one step ahead of the ever changing world of blood sports.

Frodo had another surgery to remove a tooth last week, but continues to improve.

According to the ASPCA, one in every 10 people suspects someone they know is involved in some kind of animal fighting.