A report from Cleveland Channel 19
released today say the bodies of two dogs were found this weekend on East 131st Street, haphazardly left on the side of the road in trash bags.
A truck driver who declined to provide his name claimed that the found dogs are the third and fourth that have been found in the area in the last week, some of which showed signs of being shot.
One of the dogs found was still wearing a collar, indicating that the dog was likely a pet with a loving owner or family. The Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Executive Director, Jeff Kocian, believes that the animals are victim of dog fighting.
Kocian told Channel 19 that there has been an increase in dog fighting over the last 10 years, and the corpses found were likely used as bait to train other dogs to kill.
"They'll get a dog that's not really a fighter, but about the same size. They'll let the pit bull fight it and get into it," Kocian said.
Unfortunately, Kocian also noted that many times, bait dogs are captured from people's back yards. Dog fighters will look for dogs of a similar size and take them, and owners are never the wiser because once the dogs have been killed, they're discarded in garbage bags and never found.
Back in April, the ASPCA released a study
that showed dogfighting goes underreported, despite hundreds of thousands of dogs being forced to fight nationwide. The study revealed that 57 percent of people believe dogfighting never happens in their community and only 31 percent are very confident they would recognize the signs of dogfighting.
Earlier this month, WKYC reported
on underground dogfighting rings being alive and well in Cuyahoga County, after Maurice Preston, Peter Preston and Jerome Davis were arrested on felony charges of dog fighting and animal cruelty. Police found a dog treadmill and medications commonly used in dog fighting when they conducted a search of their home.
The incident with Preston, Preston and Davis was the fourth animal cruelty case in Cuyahoga County in about a month, but animal activists claim there are likely many more cases of dogfighting that go undetected.
Signs of dogfighting include scars on the face, front legs, hind ends and thighs. Puncture wounds, swollen faces and mangled ears are also red flag signs of fighting. If you see dogs with these characteristics, please contact law enforcement or animal control immediately.