BY GENA HUFF, Editor
A Pit Bull, trained for dog fighting, has been euthanized after video evidence surfaced of the dog killing a puppy used as a “bait dog.” A “bait dog” is used for the sole purpose of teaching the fighting dog to attack and kill living canines for sport. The puppy’s owners received the video and after watching, notified authorities.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Department went to the suspected site and, after investigation and confirming the location, arrested Calvin Hinton, 30, of Aliceville, on June 8. Hinton was charged with Dog Fighting. He has since been released on bond.
Alabama’s Dog Fighting Statute makes it a class C felony for any person to own, possess, keep, or train any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting with another dog; for amusement or gain, to cause any dog to fight with another dog, or cause any dogs to injure each other; or to permit any of the above acts. The law also makes it a class C felony to knowingly be present or be a spectator at dogfights.
Since 2008, it has been a federal felony to sponsor, exhibit, buy, sell, deliver, possess, train, or transport an animal for participation in an animal fighting venture. This crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of $250,000.
There is a hot line for reporting dog fighting, operated by The Humane Society of the United States. A reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a dog fighter. Please note your identity will be protected. Call 1-877-TIP-HSUS (1-877-847-4787).
Attention and suspicion of dog-fighting by neighbors is often the best way in which dog-fighting rings can be brought to justice, but only if it is reported. If you know of or suspect dog-fighting activity in your community, please notify the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department at (205) 367-2000. You may also contact the Pickens County Herald office at (205) 367-2217 and we will pass along any information. You may remain anonymous.