Dog fighting ring with ties to Alabama busted

Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 5:59 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The FBI busted a dog fighting ring in Illinois and Iowa that has ties to Alabama. This was a massive underground fighting ring that included 17 participants and 64 dogs.

Some of those dogs were bought in Alabama. Investigators also believe some of these dog fights took place in Alabama as well.

Dr. Karen Sheppard with Huntsville Animal Services said it's not uncommon to see dogs come into the shelter with signs that the animals were previously used in dog fights. She has seen dogs with scars around the head, down the legs or missing ears.

Sheppard said dog fighting is not only extremely cruel to individual dogs, it also stigmatizes the entire breed. People often view pit bulls as aggressive dogs and it's hard for that breed to get adopted.

As a result, shelters are filled with pit bulls.

Sheppard said solutions are education and breeding restrictions.

"Please don't breed these dogs because they end up at my shelter homeless," Sheppard said. "And not only are they homeless, but they've lived a really bad life."

She said most pit bulls are very family friendly dogs they just don't always get cared for properly.

Prosecutors in Illinois and Iowa said they cannot give a specific location in Alabama at this time.

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