More than 40 police officers and RSPCA staff raided seven addresses in the town as part of a police investigation into an alleged dog-fighting ring.
The RSPCA said it also discovered a large industrial freezer at one of the properties, with blood inside. RSPCA Chief Inspector Pete Simm said: ‘Dogfighting is an abhorrent, cruel activity that was banned in this country over 150 years ago, but still continues today. The RSPCA is determined to give the message that this is not acceptable. We are extremely pleased with the operation and would like to thank the Lancashire Constabulary for their help and co-operation throughout’, he said.
Detective Inspector Pete Simm said the raids demonstrated the commitment of the force to take action against anyone believed to be housing dangerous dogs or breeding them to fight.
‘I would like to reassure members of the community this is not a widespread problem but an isolated and localised issue’, said Inspector Simm.
The raid took place in the early hours of last Thursday morning. Last week Our Dogs reported on the case of Nasar Khan, who was arrested after a similar police raid in nearby Blackburn. He pleaded guilty to using his house as a training centre for vicious fighting dogs and will be sentenced next month.
Mel Page, of animal welfare organisation Deed Not Breed said, ‘We fully support the police in their operations to shut down these terrible fighting rings that put the animals, regardless of what breed of dog they use, through incredible cruelty and suffering. The people operating these rings should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
‘However, we should not confuse these awful fighting rings with the ownership of any particular breed of dog.
‘The Dangerous Dogs Act ties the hands of police and forces them to focus on chasing ‘illegal types’ of dogs when they, us and the general public would far rather they targeted the real danger, irresponsible owners and criminals,’ she said.
Four kinds of dog - pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, the Dogo Argentinos, and the Fila Brasileiros - are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Police have urged anyone concerned that a dangerous dog is being housed in their community to contact them.