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RSPCA arrests in dog fight raid

Six people have been arrested and 14 pitbull-type dogs have been seized during a series of co-ordinated raids yesterday across the east of England. Four addresses and a barn were raided by the police and RSPCA across three counties in relation to suspected organised dog fighting.

Officers from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit and RSPCA uniformed inspectors were joined by more than 50 police officers from three forces in simultaneous raids at properties in Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Officers discovered a number of pit-bull type dogs with scarring injuries consistent with fighting. Dog fighting paraphernalia was also discovered including treadmills, used to improve dog’s fitness, veterinary kits - used to treat injuries sustained from fights and dog fighting videos. A suspected dog fighting pit was also discovered at one of the addresses.

In addition officers found one dead pit-bull which has been taken away for postmortem, and two injured Canary dogs which have been taken to a vet.

Those arrested are currently in custody awaiting interview. The dogs are now in RSPCA care and have been taken to undisclosed locations for veterinary checks.

Chief Inspector Mike Butcher of the RSPCA Special Operations Unit, said the raids were part of an operation code-named ‘Cannon’. As part of the same operation, 16 pitbull-type dogs were seized from an address in Somercote, Derbyshire on 11 March.

“People may think that dog-fighting has gone away, but that’s simply not true,” he said. “There are still people who seem to gain pleasure from seeing two dogs ripping each other to pieces, so whilst those people continue to pursue their vile hobby, the RSPCA will continue to pursue them.”
He added: “We would like to thank the police for their help and co-operation, and also members of the public for the information they have given us regarding dog-fighting. We would ask people to continue being vigilant and call us if they suspect that dog fighting, badger baiting or cock-fighting are taking place. These so-called ‘sports’ belong in the dark ages, so hopefully we can eradicate them from the UK.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.
Calls are treated in confidence.