Dog Fighting Investigation Continues - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Dog Fighting Investigation Continues

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- It's a violent sport that attracts people from across the nation- and now, a dog fighting ring has been busted right here in Cenla.

News Channel 5's Rachael Penton explains how the world of dog fighting works, and brings us an update on the investigation by the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office.

It all began on Saturday night, when Rapides Parish Sheriff's deputies were called to an abandoned home on Gene Ball Drive in Alexandria.

"We knew that these guys were here for a purpose and it wasn't just something that you just drop in on and watch and spectator," says Detective Winston Bell, of RPSO.

Authorities had discovered evidence of an organized underground dog fighting ring, with a grasp that stretched far outside of Cenla.

"There was people from Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana. Possibly some other states involved that may have ridden with the other people," says Detective James Owens, of RPSO.

The dog fights are highly secretive- their locations being revealed only hours before the fights.

"Not your backyard dog fighting rings. You have to be invited privately," adds Bell.

The spectators gather to watch the dogs go head to head...often fighting to the death.

"They're trained to attack and kill other dogs," says Henry Wimbley, Superintendent of Animal Control for the City of Alexandria.

The so called 'dogmen' use their winnings from the fights to fund other crimes.

"Lots of drugs, lots of guns. Lots of bad people that have done really bad things," says Bell.

And while the human participants will be dealt punishment, it will be the dogs who pay the ultimate price for their crimes- the law requires that they be put to be euthanized.

"The law recognizes that these animals are not pets. Given the opportunity they will kill. People's domesticated household pets," says Wimbley.

Dog fighting is a violent, secretive, blood sport that spans across the country, but the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Department is working to keep it out of Cenla.

"We're going to get to the bottom of this. We're not going to have this," adds Bell.

In Louisiana, the penalties for dog fighting can carry as many as ten years in prison.

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