Yobs force dogs to fight in parks to boost street cred.
Animal welfare charities say the new wave of dog fighting, known as 'chain' fighting, is leaving an increasing number of animals with horrific injuries.
West Midlands Police today called on people to help the force catch the callous owners as the RSPCA revealed it received 40 complaints about dog fighting each year in the region.
Pc Keith Evans, of the Dangerous Dogs Unit, said: "We are seeing a rise in chain fighting where young people are forcing their dogs to fight in parks, purely as a way of boosting their street cred.
"When officers arrive at the scene they see these children disappearing into the woods with their dogs and they are very difficult to catch.
"By the very nature of these ad hoc fights, it is difficult to know when they will take place, so we are relying on members of the community to give us the intelligence we need so we can put a stop to it."
He said the dogs involved were usually Staffordshire bull terrier-types, viewed by some as being "trophy" or "status" pets.
"It remains firmly our belief that pit bull-type dogs are attractive to certain elements of the criminal fraternity because of their tenacity and physical strength, allowing them to inflict disproportionately severe injuries if involved in an attack," he added.
He said the chain fighting, also known as 'rolling', has overtaken previously popular organised dog fights, where animals battle it out behind closed doors in betting rackets, which was once a major cause of concern in the Midlands. He said the number of organised fights had fallen dramatically since seven men, who took part in one of the largest and bloodiest dog fights ever uncovered in England, were jailed in 2008. The men forced two pit bulls to fight to the death in an Alum Rock kitchen showroom.
The bloodbath, described as "one of the most barbaric dogfights the RSPCA has ever seen," lasted two hours until it was broken up by West Midlands Police.
One of the dogs died at the scene and the other had to be put to sleep because of its horrific injuries.
Intikab Hussain, 32, of Sladefield Road, Ward End, Barkat Hussain, 43, of Unett Street, Smethwick, Ummar Iftikar Ahmed, 26, of Phipson Road, Sparkhill, Zahir Ahmed, 32, of Normandy Road, Perry Barr, Sohail Hussain, 28, of Parkfield Road, Saltley and Zahoor Hussain, 41, of Foley Road, Ward End, received combined sentences of 29 months in jail.
Waqquas Mughal, 19, of Unett Street, Smethwick, was sentenced to a four-month detention and training order.
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|Publication:||Birmingham Mail (England)|
|Date:||Mar 27, 2012|
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