Dogfighting on the rise, but you can help stop it

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, August 27, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---Man's best friend isn't always treated like a friend. Sometimes dogs are thrown into fighting rings to kill each other.

Bobby Arthurs has seen it all while working for the Aiken County Animal Shelter. He says they get 3 to 4 calls a month about dogfighting.

"I've seen lead weights, duck tape around the collar hanging. You may see a treadmill which is paraphernalia evidence that we need in conjunction with dogfighting," said Arthurs.

Most of their tips come from citizens.

"It's becoming a problem here in Aiken County," said Shelter Director Rodney Cooper.

According to Arthurs, some of the symptoms to look for if you suspect a dog is involved in fighting are bite marks on the legs, neck and ears.

"You may see...a large collar wrapped around their neck and heavy weights," Arthurs added.

Some fighting dogs not only attack their own kind, but they can attack you too.

"Most commonly [people] report seeing a large number of pit bulls that are scarred and injured and are very animal aggressive toward other animals and toward people."

Arthurs' says it's a team effort to keep dogs safe. He says it's "unfortunate" that dogfighting incidents are giving pit bulls a bad reputation.

"Pit bulls can be great pets just as any other dog. A lot of people want to ban the breed. It's not the breed. It's the people who raise these animals to fight."

If you suspect dogfighting, contact your local animal shelter.

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