Dog fighting continues to be a problem in eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dog fighting continues to be a problem in eastern Iowa

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by John Wilmer

WATERLOO(KWWL) -- A massive dog fighting raid in five states turns our attention to an issue that continues to be a problem in eastern Iowa. More than 400 dogs were seized and 26 people arrested, in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. Four of those charged live in towns north-west of Des Moines.

Officials with the Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo say they see between ten and 20 pit bulls every month that appear to have been involved in dog fights.

Right now the humane society has a pit-bull mastiff mix named Star. Katelyn Fabbro the Shelter Manager of the Cedar Bend Humane Society doesn't believe star was used in dog fighting, but finding him a good home might be challenging.

"You just want to make sure you have the right environment for them.  You're prepared for a large breed dog with a lot of strength and that you love them and not using them for bad purposes," Fabbro said.

Fabbro has also spent time as an Animal Control Officer. She has seen the horrible conditions fighting dogs live in first hand, some even being chained to trees or old tires.

"It causes a lot of damage on their necks, internally as well as externally. You will see embedded collars and things like that and then we also see houses that are completely designated just to house the dogs themselves."

Fabbro says the arrests made Wednesday are a good start, but will not stop this growing problem.

"Criminal activity starts from any association with drug activity, vandalism, things like that and from there they'll get associated in that crowd.  They'll start working and involving themselves in that type of activity and then of course unfortunately the animals we see are the ones that suffer," Fabbro said.

Taking part in dog fighting in Iowa is considered a Class "D" Felony, which could land you in jail for up to five years and up to a $7500 fine.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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