Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pet Scoop: Field of bodies indicative of pit bull abuse

I'm sure the generous volunteers out cleaning up a Frayser neighborhood on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday never expected to stumble into the killing field of dozens of pit bulls.

It's the ugly underbelly of our city where dogs are bred, tortured, made to fight, then killed or left to die.

There were so many it was hard to count: two dozen? Three? How do three dozen carcasses find their way to the same field?

The Memphis Police Anti-Cruelty Response team, which was formed last fall, will process what's left of the scene. The investigators are trained to document and oversee a scene investigation to aid in criminal prosecution of people who abuse or neglect animals.

Cases like these are difficult for police because the victims usually weren't killed in the spot where the bodies are found. Also, there's typically no identification, which means no way to trace the dogs to the humans who did this to them.

These dogs were probably never anyone's beloved pets. They probably never got their bellies tickled or their ears rubbed. They were just pawns in the world of pit bull breeding and fighting that permeates this city like an infestation of cockroaches.

It's about impossible to keep count of dogs that die violent deaths in this city. Dog fighting and dog breeding, particularly of pit bulls, is a lucrative business for criminals. Puppies are sold on the streets for cash. No taxes paid. No business licenses.

They are tested. If they have no fight, they are killed or used as bait. Females are literally bred to death.

It was a horrible footnote to what started as a group of people with generous hearts trying to clean up the city. Too bad they can't clean up the evil.

Will it ever end?

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