WARNING GRAPHIC: Bait dogs, fighting rings still a problem in Mi - WNEM TV 5

WARNING GRAPHIC: Bait dogs, fighting rings still a problem in Mid-Michigan

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Source: Lisa Stoffel Source: Lisa Stoffel
Source: Lisa Stoffel Source: Lisa Stoffel

A 2-year-old dog in Mid-Michigan is looking for a good home.

Investigators believe the little guy was a training tool for dog fighting rings.

"We went out thinking it was just hit by a car or a stray dog that had been injured,” said Lisa Stoffel, director of Saginaw County Animal Control.

Stoffel said when her officers got the call about an injured dog they weren't expecting to find what's known as a "bait dog."

"Well, at first we just thought maybe he had been injured, maybe got into it with another dog with territory and stuff. But then as he got closer we seen all the old scarring on the face. You could see on the nose, front paws, the legs, areas where dogs that would be used as the term bait dog to train up the upcoming younger dogs to go after him,” Animal Control Officer Joaquin Guerrero said.

Guerrero is one of the officers who responded. He said with advances in technology, the illegal dog fighting rings have become underground in the state and across the nation.

Although you might not be hearing about it as frequently, Stoffel said situations like this are still occurring regularly.

"It is still happening. I think they've gotten either better at it so that people don't recognize it, or it's starting up again.

Stoffel has been Saginaw County's animal control director for 10 months now, and she said this is the second bait dog she's taken in so far.

What she and the other employees are hoping for is help from the community.

"What we need from the citizens is to let us know when they're seeing activity where people are bringing dogs, where usually that person has a dog, but a bunch of dogs are coming over. It just doesn't look like playtime, Stoffel said. 

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