Investigation courses on dog fighting and rehabilitation - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Investigation courses on dog fighting and rehabilitation

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

Dozens of Chesterfield Police officers got an important lesson on better investigating cases of dog fighting. They learned what signs to look for and how to better handle each case.

Pit bulls bred to fight live a very hard life. It's a nasty sport that could get you serious jail time.

In Halifax County, dozens of dogs were rescued last year. In South Richmond, a man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for running a dog fighting operation from home. And who can forget about Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick. More than 60 dogs were rescued from his Virginia home.

With the help of former fighting dog Hazel, Janette Reever of the Humane Society of the United States taught officers what to look for.

"You want to look for a large number of American Pit-bull Terriers, you want to look at the confinement and are they kept separately, do the dogs have any kind of scarring, wounds, any kind of injuries," said Reever.

Reever also told the officers to look for treadmills and spring poles used for training.

Another point she made was that not all dogs are killers. In fact, most dogs can be rehabilitated.

"The biggest misconception is that they're a killer, that their jaws lock, that is not true," said Reever.

"Having them here bring a valuable resource. Brings knowledge, brings expertise brings ability to get more of this knowledge so that these officers have this tool they can use out on the road," said Assistant Supervisor for Chesterfield's Animal Control, Rob Leinberger.

The Humane Society of the U.S. wants your help by reporting dog fighting if you see it happening. There could be a hefty reward of up to $5,000. For more details, call 800-535-STOP (7867). Your identity will be protected.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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