WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said on Wednesday, they have reason to believe there is a dog fighting operation going on in the city.
On Saturday, animal control officers located what they believe to be a bait dog in the 900 block of north Grove Street.
“Immediately noticed he had several large, lacerations to his neck, chest and head area. He also had a lot of injury to the face that had scarred. This indicates to us that the dog has been used to fight,” said Wichita Police Lieutenant Joe Schroeder.
The dog, now named Dante, had numerous open wounds and a majority of his teeth had been either knocked out or sawed off, according to police.
“Basically what happens is they will take these animals, knock their teeth out, file them down, so they can’t defend themselves and they will use them to get the other animals warmed up so that they can fight,” said Lt. Schroeder. “These animals are chewed up and they’re used until they are no longer any good or they die.”
Lt. Schroeder said it is likely there is a dog fighting ring in the City of Wichita.
“A lot of the pit bulls that we get into our facility do appear that they have been fighting, so it does indicate that there is a problem going on,” he said.
He said in the last month, the shelter has had at least two other dogs come in with similar injuries to Dante’s.
“These dogs are in extreme poor conditions. The fighting animals, the bait animals, all of them are in bad condition,” Lt. Schroeder said.
Lt. Schroeder said he is teaming up with detectives in the gang unit to try to locate the possible animal fighting rings and save any dogs that may be involved.
“Pepple know this is happening and it’s done for gambling purposes, there is other criminal activity going on here and the Wichita police department is going to look into this and try to locate these locations and shut them down,” he said.
What’s Next For Dante
On Monday, Beauties and Beasts Inc., a Wichita animal rescue group, took custody of Dante.
“When I met him I was in tears,” said Beauties and Beasts Inc. board member Randi Carter.
Carter and her team immediately took Dante to their veterinarian. Their vet told them Dante was likely a bait dog and that he was also suffering from Heartworm. Dante had surgery done to his neck on Tuesday.
Carter said unfortunately dog fighting rings are often overlooked or swept under the rug in Wichita.
“In our rescue alone we have four dogs alone that are still property of Beauties, that we feel are bait dogs,” Carter said. “This is in Wichita. This isn’t just in your big cities, like people think it is. It’s right here in Wichita.”
Carter and police are asking for the public to be more vigilant. They want people to come forward if they see or hear of anything regarding animal abuse.
“We need people to call. You know, when you are driving down the street and you see something that doesn’t look right, turn it in,” Carter said.
Beauties and Beasts, Inc. plans to rehab Dante and eventually find him a forever home.