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RSPCA seize ‘fighters’

A NUMBER of RSPCA Special Operations Unit officers, inspectors and officers from West Midlands Police were involved in a number of raids in Birmingham last Tuesday April 4.

The 16 raids related to information involving dog fighting in the area and followed an unpublicised raid that took place in Birmingham earlier in the year.

In February, West Midlands police raided an address in the Alum Rock area of the city, where an alleged dog fight was taking place. Twenty-two men have already been questioned and are likely to face charges relating to dog fighting. Four other men have been bailed to return for questioning at the end of April. Two badly injured dogs were found at the scene. One died from its injuries at the address and the other was later euthanased on veterinary advice.

On Tuesday, a number of addresses and outbuildings were searched in the Hodge Hill, Handsworth, Saltley, Alum Rock, Smethwick, Lozells and Aston areas. During the operation 47 dogs were seized and a number of items including three treadmills, a video, veterinary kits, breaking sticks and other dog fighting paraphanalia were taken away.

Ten men were arrested, interviewed and will be bailed to reappear pending any further enquiries. All were interviewed in relation to possession of dangerous dogs and alleged dog fighting offences.

Chief Inspector John Wilkins from the RSPCA Special Operations Unit, said: "We are extremely pleased with the operation and would like to thank the West Midlands Police for their help and co-operation throughout. It’s astonishing to think that, even in the 21st Century, there are still a small minority of people who enjoy the barbaric sport of pitting one dog against another and we will continue to make sure that those involved are dealt with through the courts."