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Authorities have arrested about 30 people and seized as many as 350 pit bulls in a multi-state operation targeted at dogfighting. KSMU’s Adam Hammons has more on how Missouri played a central role in the investigation leading to the raids.
The effort to wipe out dogfighting took a big step forward when officials took part in what’s being dubbed the biggest raid of dogfighting operations in U.S. history. And as it turns out, Missouri was right in the center of it.
Six states were involved, and officials say that Missouri had the bulk of the dogfighting operations.
Jeane Jae, a spokesperson for the Humane Society of Missouri, explained how the raids were carried out.
“The Humane Society of Missouri provided the initial information to state and federal authorities and that was what launched this investigation. And the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task force have been involved in pursuing this investigation since its inception with federal and state authorities,” she said.
The coalition between federal state authorities is still somewhat new.
However it seems that the fight against dogfighting could be a long one. Jordan Crump, the spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States, explains how bad the situation is.
“It’s really embedded in the culture of many places and some people think it’s antiquated, but I think that with Michael Vick’s arrest, people are realizing that this is a big problem going on all across the country,” she said.
Crump went on to say that there’s a lot of money in the dogfighting industry, which makes it appealing to some.
The raids by task forces of state, federal and local law enforcement agencies took place in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Animal groups involved with the rescues said there were arrests in Arkansas associated with dogfighting in that state, but no dogs were seized there.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.