WWL>Topics>>4-8-14 1:10pm Angela: on dogfighting

4-8-14 1:10pm Angela: on dogfighting

Apr 8, 2014|

Angela talks dogfighting with Jeff Dorson of the Louisiana Humane Society, Anna Zorilla of the Louisiana SPCA, and John "J.P." Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I hope you're having a beautiful Tuesday because it certainly is outside they -- may be a little rain but. For the rest of the week it's gonna be glorious and that's very good news for us to. Do love the French Quarter -- which as you know is this weekend and we're actually going to be broadcasting Friday. All three of our shows from Jackson square and very excited where they have the world's largest brunch. So if you're out and about combines say hello to list. We have three. I think very interest in shows today. The first one has been near and dear to my heart for wait too long. It's a sad one but it's one with some victories we're talking about dog fighting -- gonna have to real authorities in talking about it. Our second hour is going to be some things that are happening in the legislature. I truly hope that -- hold on and and listen because. I'd love to have your opinion I think my mind is going a little -- on this self. If you have any thoughts were going to be talking about the efforts in the legislature. That will. Essentially unravel. A law that has been passed by all the voters of the state. That really has only. Is only going to affect those of us in southeast Louisiana. So I just would like your thoughts on that and Morgan and on a happy note because our third hour is talking about. The French -- fast so we'll talk more about that much. But we begin with dog fighting it is against the law but there are still those who do it. It's a vicious ripping of scanned. And often a fight to the death but to those who watched. The horror of it is the sport. For a dog bred to fight and kill it is a life of misery. But for those who breeds them it's all about the money. We're going to be talking about dog fighting for the next hour with two people who have spent decades. Attempting to -- it. And is guerrilla CEO of the Louisiana SP CA and joked Orson with the humane society of Louisiana. And again I'm always thinking these people for coming and it means so much when you do. I think the first my first thought is I kinda can't believe we're still talking about it that it still is here. And that's. We've had some recent cases one of Breaux Bridge in particular will get to what it's like one is this. Going to end. -- at the answer. No it's not -- not soon enough Angela it's a horrific crime and one that is. Difficult to. Catch people in the act of doing it you know it is very secluded it is a crime that's happening out in the woods where people aren't. In the open. And so the amount of evidence the amount. In investigating that's involved in these cases. Often means you know these cases go undetected and as you said we've been fighting this for decades and unfortunately the fight is not over even though the laws have changed and yeah we've strengthen the laws over the years to make it not only a felony to be participate in dog fighting but to be a spectator in dog fighting. It continues to happen throughout Louisiana and honestly throughout the country it's not crime that is specific to. Louisiana but it is continues to happen and it's such incredible cruelty involved in these cases. What what do you think is the pleasure that someone must get from going to adopt. -- The date they told me it's amusing. Date there's ranking rights believed or not they think the Washington championship sport. There's of course betting involved so there's wagering on the side so there's all sorts of services strange psychology that their action identifying with the dogs. And if you talk to dog fighters trying and the content of Staunton and they think that their trainer. Preparing a champion for a fight for the very proud they've showed me the ribbons and their training schedules and their trophies. And that's what they demo pilot. You and I can not so much. Think one of the hard things for us rapper heads around is. You know they identify with the animals those fighters but they don't have that emotional connection to the animals that. You know those of us that have dogs as pets. You know could never just wrap our heads around how could you do that to an animal how could you inflict that level of teen. Of violence and watch it and enjoy it and get that adrenaline rush from seeing that dog in that environment. On and so there is that level of disconnect emotionally from the animals while intellectually. You know they do see that there you know. Reading these dogs to be physically really strong and I think an important. Distinction is that the dogs are bred to be animal aggressive. And often you know when they're really significant. Mauling in the community you know you -- just recently we had a case and home where that. Child you know it was a fatal mauling in and the mother was really injured. Human aggression is not what dog fighting dogs are bred for. Their -- for animal aggression and so it's two really different. Kinds of of temperaments that you're looking for. Both there are really awful but in dog fighting your breeding dogs to be aggressive to other dogs not to humans. And so in your discussions with those who do this do they say. Near the dog likes -- the dog is trained for this this is what he wants to know -- There is that the disconnect then is. He doesn't feel the skin being ripped away he doesn't feel part of the -- being ripped absolutely I mean even when you think about. Cropping of ears cropping of tells cosmetic changing of the dogs that are done without anesthesia. You know there is that disconnect on whether or not the animal feels pain whether the animals motivated in two ways these activities. You know and I think. Those are the kinds of things that are are just really horrifying when you realize these animals suffer incredibly. You know when there. Undergoing this kind of torture that they undergo. I remembered these aren't voice tells whoever it inflicting this pain -- else. All these ten canceled crimes being committed always goes hand in hand with the narcotics usually money laundering. Tax sedation sometimes child endangerment they bring kids the fights. -- illegal weapons so we put all that together and these guys are pretty immune to date are not in touch with if something -- right or wrong. You know I once saw a video line actually -- -- new story many years ago. And it was an undercover video of -- that. And they're just exactly what you're saying bring kids I think that stood out. It was almost with the bleachers you know petals on the spectators spectators and you know women family and concession stands in the consent. And I am thinking you know what is at four year old son who was six year old -- And they're seeing mom and dad having fun mine and and disconnecting from. What's actually happening to that animal and I think you know again you see young young children there that grow up. In that environment with the disconnect the animals and then perpetuated as they become adults and I think that's one of the most frightening things and as you said. Decades and decades of this work but it continues to perpetuate itself through the young people that are exposed. And that are taught that this is okay and this is acceptable and that it's an alternate way of of you know having an income. That can be quite lucrative I mean these dog fights have significant purses you know the champion dogs. Our bread and can be sold for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And so there's a whole underground market around you know the buying and breeding of these dogs once they've become champions so there's a real financial stake you know. Beyond just the other illegal activities that are going on. Which unfortunately or fortunately are the reasons that state police ATF you know other law enforcement. Has taken an interest in dog fighting because of those associated crimes you know they wanna get involved because they know that there is more bang for the buck here. You have all these other felony crimes on as well as federal crimes when you start crossing state lines. You know transporting animals transporting drugs all those transporting guns across state lines you know. When they're able to do a significant job fighting -- there's a lot more than. Those law enforcement agencies are able to prosecute on than just the dog fighting. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue our talk with and is a real and -- -- about dog fighting and again we'd love to hear from you your thoughts on Angela on WWL. Well we're talking about dog fighting with -- zarrella who heads update Louisiana SP CA. And Jack Dorsey who is head of the humane society of Louisiana. There was a recent case in February in Borough bridge. Where two men have been arrested with drug fighting drugs and weapons charges 47 dogs were retrieved. And and as you were talking earlier this is as it normally does it is just about job finding other issues. There what you were saying earlier and about its it's a difficult crime to find because usually does and hidden spaces and not just running space it's I. And yet with the participation of those who were there. You would think somebody might say something at a groceries -- the -- -- in -- with. That there would be. Somebody listening who would say this is wrong. That's really have to go far. It's inching Angeles actually more open than we think if you type in game. -- breeding dogs game dogs on the Internet you'll find dozens and dozens of candles devoted to and promoting fighting dogs. Only -- -- I don't home playing Arctic home game talks may have certain pre blinds that. Bloodlines of most people it -- -- foreign to them got the racers edge Jeep. Z Bo Boudreau -- Eli and Land of the Giants China man these are strange sounding names to you and I. But to dogma and those are fighting bloodlines. So if you start studying this is very much -- -- -- open. But it will take a lot of resources. Because if you called in sick -- that has safe 4045 dogs. As and it knows who's gonna pay for that you can have to build the case go and purchase the dog -- luckily we changed along Louisiana. That the ownership of -- -- for the purposes of fighting in itself is a felony. But guess what the burden of proof is on us. So we had to work for the state police to go in like a drug -- to go and buy a -- get that recorded that yeah here's a champion dog he's done. 3000 he's one get that on tape and uses against him in court. Tough to do but it's doable. So you put them all together and he's a hard complicated expensive cases you see you need multi agencies like the one and brokerage -- The whole community has to step up and help. Those 447. Dogs. Luckily they had many agencies come in rescue groups other humane societies experts. Of obedience trainers all headed to come in and look at each -- case by case to see is -- ready to go back in the community. And I think the hard thing about it that is. You know for all of us an animal welfare we wanna save every animal. But when these dogs are bred. For animal aggression one of the things that you have to be realistic about is is it's safe to re homeless animal in the community what happens if this dog. Gets out of someone's yard. And someone else's walking on the street with their dog on a leash you know with this dog has a propensity for animal aggression how safe is it for the rest of the community. And these court cases can take years. We had a court case. Couple years back that we impounded. It was eighteen adults and for our member is about twelve puppies. Lots of evidence of dog fighting so paraphernalia you know treadmills steroids. You know training manuals all the sort of stuff he took over two years for that case to be resolved. And that whole time those dogs including those little tiny puppies. Word in the shelter and that's not a great environment for puppies to grow up or adult dogs to live in four years and years on and and in the end. You know those dogs particularly the ones that we're adults were not socialized. And we're not in a suitable to be re homed. And there's no funding to take care of those animals for the duration of that case and so again there -- a lot of challenges. You know not every parish in Louisiana has an animal shelters and we're fortunate nor Ireland's. You know Louisiana SP CA has a facility but that's not true for a lot of parishes around the state and so. You know what happens when there's forty something dogs in -- -- and there's no facility and there's no funding to take care of those animals. Until they can be resolved in court a lot a lot of talent it's. The 47 in this particular case. You are aware. Many of them found homes correctly he gets calls from around the country people interest that they stepped -- they worked with the shelter. And they did it valuations on each animal health thirteen didn't make it -- from. They were too injured from the previous ones. Or they were too aggressive so these -- very good job of and they have to evaluate each animal overtime can't be a ten minute to valuation. Days or weeks to make sure that what they're sending home with the family is a suitable pets. So luckily they felt very supported by their community and from that the country itself -- people calling thing we'll help we'll do whatever we can. That's it could the good part of this -- and I both -- them the bad part of that is is so difficult. Industry hold dog fighting business as complicated you have your street inner city fighting that spontaneous and quake and over quickly. -- -- -- -- Unstructured. Ones out in the country where some plan to convert farms than you have others that are circuits where they they know each other and they go from city to city. And then the syndicate fighting high high money high rollers and that's very secretive as well so here we are trying to infiltrate those four types of fighting. It's a challenge. Trevor Reid should as the founder of people rescued out of prairie bill. Seven and an article that the area of Breaux Bridge with twenty between twenty and thirty miles around it. Was a hotbed of dog fighting in America. I'm just wondering do you all agree with that. You know I would say that there are other parts of Louisiana that have been the hotbed. Particularly west Louisiana we've had. Some really significant dog fighting activity. In the Lake Charles area account she parish. But you know again it's shifts from you know area -- area and certainly in this case does show that there's a lot of activity happening right now. But Louisiana historically and push he has been. Hunted for dog fighting all animal fighting you know was the last state to ban cock fighting. And we've done some research simply not we fund handles from the late seventeen hundreds. Advertising animal fighting in the French Quarter. So bear baiting crock now fighting any animal in a ring will draw spectators. So it's been going on long time no one thinks that one -- evolved. Well in any -- I know I think our laws have been slow to change so we finally have gone to the place where there are felony penalties. For a lot of these animal crimes but even still. You know the the amount of evidence and even the actual penalties that are in place for these crimes. You know are not as significant as and other parts of the country's I think we've been a little slow on the legislative side. To get the laws were they need to be I think there's been great progress but there's still always more work to be done in terms of making sure the laws are strong enough. And the second piece of that is them the enforcement so you've got great laws on the books but do we have the capacity as a status animal control agencies as law enforcement. To go in and actually collect the evidence to go undercover to all the investigations. And are the judges and prosecutors knowledgeable. And are they as aware of how serious these crimes are so that these you know cases are not dismissed. Isn't it true that there are now some lawyers who specialize in animal issues not fluently some locally to -- don't repeat their names company if you type in. Any city in animal law he'll come up with several attorneys almost every city. Agreement and major city and I know that there's been some seminars and some specialized. Training. Around animal loss -- in Los going as one of the ones that has. Created. You know special track around animal law offer attorneys that are interested and there's you know seminars. Pretty regularly bad focus in on making sure that attorneys are aware of you know the legal ramifications. Both because -- times that they may be defending. Someone around these issues or they might be on the prosecuting side or working with an agency like ours. To create and establish a really strong case everyone stay with us we're gonna continue our talk on dog fighting but now let's go to the newsroom and Chris Miller. While we're talking about dog fighting and we have been with and as a real and Jeff dorsett who remain here so stay with us. But we're now joined by JP good when John Goodwin. With the Humane Society of the United States in one of the premier authorities. On dog fighting him on. So please that you could join us thank you so much. Well thank you crowding. First of all let's talk about the sound wonderful tip line and and reward system that you have with. -- anybody out there who was aware of dog fighting in their area. Sure well then we realized was that there were people who had information could lead the rest and conviction of dogs -- first. But many were scared of war. And we wanted to people committed certificate were there one. It's so we have a reward lined -- where we take a 5000 dollars -- reward to anyone who brings information at least the arrest and conviction. Individuals involved and and fighting with the dog fighting cock fighting. Any company where animals are pitted against one another and fights Canada. And what is the response then. The response that well now that the the phone line 187. It teaches you received calls every single day in it is the last out. To really -- out with the I'm dog fighting under world looks like in the United States today and we've got a lot of information has been leading to. Rates prosecutions for pretty repeatedly over the last. Seven years. And it's so you have had convictions. Oh yes absolutely and -- Quite a number. You know. One of our other guest -- torso was I think a very important question of of a couple of things one. He and shares in 2007 a law was passed that would make attempt. -- heavily penalized to transport. Fighting animals across state lines. What has happened in the last seven years with that -- that curtailed any. Well I think that it's. In addition to that law we also remember that 2007 was the year the old Michael Vick case broke in net. But it's huge spotlight on the dog fighting issue. It in the aftermath of that there are a lot more attention placed on the issue more fortunate state legislators around the country. And others that exist to make a difference so it's -- say exactly what factors we're via the biggest drivers and increased prosecutions. But dog fighters but I can't think. Headley debates instead and not think I don't get the wrong impression there's still a lot of work to begin I think there's a lot more awareness. These states and you know people more vocal that democratic but it's still persist in the shadows and it's still more widespread than I think most people realize. But I -- think that progress has been there. I'm Jeff was also talking about if you go on the Internet you can see these camels and the bloodlines and etc. And if we know what that is how can we not just knock on their door. So there's two issues here now with so what you're gonna actually catching dog fight in progress. Those -- -- very clandestine manner people need one location. And many people gathered there will that would final destination is. And her little hurdles and that the way of law enforcement efforts -- most states prohibit the meter section of the adult would need to. And and these cables to stay in one place. As opposed to moving around secret location or are against other secret location clinic the other -- couple -- as cities and -- station near. So that's where most cases. So the issue there is simply establishing intent and establishing that you can prove that the purse is keeping these dogs with -- it can define. And it's frankly not that -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Doing -- trying cases it's easier than doing drug cases of their house that we think -- occur counts. -- that dogs in the backyard that are clearly being used for fighting we can use the dog fighting investigation to get their food that don't work. -- faster. Do in the long run and drug investigation. Unfortunately not every culture realize strategies cases can indeed stated. So that's a matter training. But what don't what are the kinds of trends have you seen in dog fighting. Well I can put -- if you were to take the state of Texas April it straight up to that top United States -- -- east that. And that's where. We decide most of the operations decreased dogs for fighting there were a lot of -- that takes place that's not saying it does happen in the western US. In Dallas but the eastern United States going to open some are ordered. Urban areas -- indecency. Big area. They also. Little industry -- built a program this crime they're people that now magazines and books about -- I think they're people that. By more to say in naval force C derived. Breeding females from one capital to another for -- purposes their transport and it did in the keeping vehicles back supports adult fighters can breed with. Underdogs and other people's dog to keep refreshing the blah -- We did see these people -- together their adult groups scouted these needy and Casey were in a few degrees. To prune the the ancestors of the dogs they actually are so that they can confirm that they're winning fighting dogs and -- It's really shocking that this is it's in the industry is illegal in all fifty states fill in all fifty states and yet they they are quite -- port and missed. Until somebody does go to jail and that must get around in that world. But it's still doesn't stop anybody from getting into it. Well what were talking about is that a group of people that are pretty serious criminals. Now I would say. There's an opportunity to fighters wake up in the morning. And say are looked -- this would -- -- guys that leave little across it worked like. The people purple in this since vehicle is a whole range of illegal activities. The Chicago Police Department looked at about 380 cases of talks -- animal cruelty. If it was 15%. Of the people there arresting these were things for men -- gang members about to third and muscle tight connections. All their record about a third had drug summit records so. You know it's it's not enough that the Middle East. In be kind we need to courts to also. Use the Middle East their full extent. Some -- that they're fighting to auctioneers to hit it 151000 dollars its stake their -- -- cabling and well they're gonna need to get more than 1000 dollar fine and six months probation. -- is seen as acceptable risk we need the courts to come down strong and it's just. It's and a message that this is not worked. Well as you said earlier the Michael Vick case certainly. Shines the light nationally on something as horrific as what was run on his property. And we were talking earlier you know can someone be rehabilitated -- a dog fighter all of a sudden. Understand this is horrible. Thought -- consulting and and there are others they made overseas for for those who can beat. Rehabilitated. Around excellent. With Michael Vick he actually. Exposed to -- details revealed people encouraging. Them to await this -- path. It is -- I think. In -- recently the congress actually -- -- minutes -- -- estimated total quality contingent. But docs or site. In an adult introduced Michael -- came to Capitol Hill to the news conference about supporting the bill and spoke with -- members of congress talked about now. He -- something like that had been in place New Zealand. So I I think there are some people to. Can turn around in that. Decent good things and there are others -- just need to see that there are stronger consequences for anyone -- Tortured -- like this that the stalks through the -- at least these mutilated in an destroy. And -- consequences key management involved present time. Strong fund letter whatever is appropriate to deter the sort of activity. Well before you leave I want you to -- felt that number again. 187. 1877. Yeah. HS Sheila that it doesn't apply it in an age issue that is in the Humane Society of the United States. And Jonathan Quick question or right but in real quick here. She peed my name's -- push -- with the local humane society quick questions so half our state doesn't have animal control services are sheltering services. And yet you know we know the dog fighting exists in those areas and we when we get tips in those areas. What would be a good strategy for us to implement to how to respond appropriately when we have. A poll of suspected fighting with thirty people from the woods and yet no agency to take control of them. Well -- that's the good question first -- -- senior -- of these news articles. I educate the public that don't try to committee -- so. You know -- -- guarantee. You know again. You've been a leader in Louisiana. Is what you described is a classic problem so often these large dog fighting operation will exist in rural areas. It in the rural areas you have the tax base so the parish. Or outside of Louisiana the county that have the means to have a large animal shelter within -- -- Before it's the sort of dog he cases like that. Some outcomes other animal protection organization stepped it helped. We've done it to the belief in peace -- has been involved and sort of operation before. But I think it's speaking with this year it really working with -- department. It's a constant state police the Louisiana state police -- figured that. A lot of don't try to raise. It. You know together we can. Find the resources it may mean going out that its workers a lot of the time but we. We've got a we've got the good guys and good network setup that we can find the resource -- culture at these places you know provided. We can't -- in for more fortunate -- that your department of state police. I'll be calling you if you don't mind and keep it as well actually appreciate. I cannot think it thank you enough for joining us on the issue you brought a lot lot of great information. And thank you for all you do up there. Well thank you so much they keep your thanks again to keep stay with us everyone will be back. We're talking dog fighting were talking on the issue of dog fighting with -- collars let's go to end. Hello and hey -- of their. It's not there let's go to Susan Amanda -- Hi Angela and Susan Collins and you'd probably remember me. And Jennifer well I am sleepy in the U boat rescued from the spider. Yes but years ago yes I'm going to say that even though she -- it pop up product that you biting dog. She was not -- that way you did a wonderful -- That's what are you want apple will -- I will never forgets -- And we like to hear about the victories so that -- and -- Well that victory one they want more. Agree with the data regarding Michael back I don't think he. Rehabilitated himself. I think that tiger doesn't change its stripes and they are quite a few people in the -- world globally as well. Well again I really appreciate you calling in very very much and Carol under her mother this week -- think you're. A terrific. And yes I did I mention Michael Vick case I think brings out an important distinction here that. Dog fighting is not just -- crime that happens in the economically disadvantaged you know areas of our state of the country. You can have people live you know grade educations that. Are professionals that are wealthier prominent members of the community that are involved in these activities just as Michael Vick was. And to the other distinction is. You know often times we get calls at the Louisiana SP CA about someone has you know five big pupils and their backyard they must be fighting them. And the truth is if five big pupils are running around and accurate together. That means that they're not aggressive to each other so they're probably not involved in dog fighting their might be some other things going on there that we need to come out and investigate. And usually really big pupils are not used in dog fighting they're typically the smaller dogs 35 to 45 pounds. There -- you know very Agile. Very specialized breeding and they're usually housed separately so there can be tethered or have separate enclosures because they can't. Interact with other dogs because again that they are aggressive they are meant to be aggressive to other dogs that you wouldn't have them. Together in a yard running around being social some what -- saying is when you look at neighbors are you drive buying UC. The heavy change. And they're tethered to the trees and they have the separatist. That's that's more indicative that that is -- more indicative that there's a problem beyond the fact that that's against the long Orleans parish criteria whether or not they're fighting the dogs. But that would be more symptomatic. There's something more happening there that there are trying to keep those -- separate from each other. Then in a backyard with four or five dogs running around and you know creating a nuisance of another kind but it's probably nine dog fighting when you've got those -- socializing with each other. Well it. What I'd like to just add about that is the difference between street fighting you mentioned and then more organized fighting that that using happens in the countryside may flee the the country fighting is much different I've met both. Both players I'm afraid the street fighting is very quickly it's usually -- oriented. And India out in the rural areas the the actually think of themselves as gentlemen to. Wagering bets on the outcome of a fight and they're structured law rules called cajun rules nineteen points that they have to follow. This is that strange. Subculture that they follow. And this past -- with weighing the dogs before hand washing them washing your hands too to show that there's no proof of poisonous or toxic substances. And then how -- the -- The link between the scratch marks twelve feet how to hold the dog before you release them the -- -- handler at the trainer of the money -- Everybody plays a role so it's a very organized way of doing business. Of course I'm opposed to all the the street fighting it's much different spontaneous. Money flows freely there's no real. The only outcome is you know who comes out on top and win some money filter. And what don't Lindsay. And on my -- OK one more break we'll be right. I wanna thank and a -- and -- -- and always always here -- -- -- wanna talk animal issues. Dog fighting you've put up the good fight and I know you'll are gonna continue to -- into. Not very very important and and the message is loud and clearly if you see something called authorities at all. Thank you so much everyone stay with us as we continue another hour we're going to be talking about what's happening in the legislature annual -- wanna -- Financial and now let's go to the newsroom.