Dog News

Community Bands Together to Increase Reward Offered for Information Leading to Dog Fighting Convictions


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SCRAPS Hopes information from the public will lead to dog fighting convictions.

Animal protection officer Emylee Tolliver experienced a heart-breaking scene. Behind an elementary school in Spokane Valley, Washingston was a pit-bull, tied to a dumpster and covered in blood.

“I was pretty shocked.  I was kind of expecting a routine call,” Tolliver told KHQ.  “The amount of blood I saw at the scene didn’t come from just this dog.” The dog had injures so severe, it had to be put down.

“Its tongue had been injured severely, it had wounds to its trachea and esophagus which would indicate it had been grabbed by the throat,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver believes the dog had been used for dog-fighting, and the match happened right at the dumpster. There are several kinds of dog fighting, they can involve gambling, drugs and spectators, she explains.

“They go generally for the throat, the ears, the back of the neck where they can grab on, and the dog that incurs the most injuries is the loser, and the one who has the fewest is the winner,” Tolliver explained.

Tolliver believes another dog, who suffered even more, was also involved in the incident given the amount of blood at the scene.

“The dog I found was the winner,” Tolliver guessed.

After 16 years, working as an animal protection officer, only one local conviction has taken place for dog fighting, Tolliver explains. However, she sees at least several suspected cases every year. This means there are more dog fighting rings happening in Spokane County than most would want to believe.

“We come across evidence of it more often than people would like to think,” she added.

Dog fighting cases are difficult to prosecute, so Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS) is looking to the community for tips that will lead to more convictions.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2500 reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of people involved in these horrific cases of animal cruelty. The community has also banned together to up the reward – so far private citizens have collected $1750, which has increased the reward to $4250.

If you saw anything suspicious near Trentwood Elementary, or know of anyone who may be involved, call them at 509-477-2532.

Signs of Dog Fighting Activity

  • Multiple pit bulls in one yard with locked and/or privacy fences. Dogs are individually tied out, unable to reach other dogs.
  • Dogs wearing tight thick collars.
  • Dogs with scars on head, throat, legs, and ears
  • Tires or pieces of leather suspended several feet off the ground from trees to provide jaw-strengthening activities
  • Treadmills for exercising dogs
  • Materials dog fighting pits are made out of: plywood panels with blood splatter, blood stained carpets
  • Dogs leashed with heavy chains to metal posts in the ground with or without weights on their collars
  • Dogs frequently being moved in cages from a house
  • Dogs and people coming and going frequently from a site and gathered in “unusual” places such as an abandoned house, empty warehouse, residential basement, and barns
  • Dogs forced to pull heavy items such as chains and tire rims to strengthen muscles
  • Extreme, uncontrollable aggression towards other animals, especially other dogs