Police Crack Down On Underground World Of Dog Fighting

MASSILLON, Ohio – Police found pit bull puppies living in incredible filth in Massillon, and said they think that the animals might be linked to the underground world of dog fighting, 19/43 News' Denise Strzelczyk reported.

Police said that pit bulls that are brought to the Animal Protective League are turned away, and eventually destroyed. The animals are victims of their own breed, too often the victim of the violence that is dog fighting.

Investigators said that they know of rings that operate within a mile of their Cleveland headquarters.

The pit bull dogs and their puppies found in Massillon were cramped in cages in a basement, living in their own filth.

"The dogs were found in deplorable conditions -- no food, no water, standing in their own fecal matter," Massillon Police Department spokeswoman Vickie Davis said. "The defendant's wife admitted they ran out of food -- had no food in their house for the animals."

The defendant is Ulysses Amos, who pleaded not guilty to almost 10 charges, including animal cruelty. Police said they believe that Amos intended to sell the pit bulls for illegal dog fighting, where dogs tear each other apart, sometimes until death, according to APL investigator Matt Granito.

"There is a very planned way they do this," Granito said. "They usually pick a site somewhere where no one can hear the dogs. They construct a ring -- it's six-feet walls with two-feet height, it's just like a boxing ring."

Granito said that illegal dog fighting is alive and well in the Cleveland area. He said that the betting begins, and when enough blood is shed to determine a winner, the fight ends.

The dogs become the victims of a sick sport. Even if they survive, they're not adoptable.

"The ones that fought, they are half-dead," Granito said.

Investigators said that it's very hard to prosecute the people involved in dog fighting because the evidence is usually cleaned up immediately after the fight, and any scars are blamed on normal fights among other dogs.