Experts say dog fighters are good at hiding the illegal activity, but if you pay close attention officials say the brutal sport is happening right in our backyards.
Trisha from Kenmore asked Eyewitness News not to use her last name. Trisha is the Vice President of a local non-for-profit dog rescue. Her love of animals is the driving force behind her tireless effort to spread the word about the dangerous world of dog fighting.
She has been posting signs all over Buffalo and Niagara Falls advertising the Human Society's $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of dogfighters.
Her efforts might not be in vain. In October of 2009, it was a tip that lead to a dog ring raid at home on Laurel Street in Buffalo. Authorities seized 25 dogs. More than half of the animals had to be euthanized because they were too aggressive.
Dogs picked for these matches go through brutal trainings. They are sometimes forced to build neck strength by wearing weights around their necks for hours, placed on treadmills to build endurance, and deprived of food as an incentive to fight.
It is hard for Trisha to imagine that people could be so cruel to animals, but she says dog fighters play by a different set of rules. Often times not
placing the same value on an animals life as they do humans.
Trisha urges the public to look out for signs of dog rings like homes where the basement windows are boarded up but there are lots of people going inside, loud music used to drown out the screams of the animals, and dogs with scars or other marks.
For more information contact the Humane Society at 1-877-TIP-HSUS or humanesociety.org/rewards.