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Animal Control: Dog fighting big in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - East Baton Rouge Animal Control says dog fighting is a big problem in Baton Rouge.

One dog picked up as a stray two months ago serves as a reminder of dog fighting. Daniel, named after the biblical story "Daniel in the Lion's Den," arrived at the animal shelter with gashes, scars and puncture wounds.

"You can still see his scars, but they're just a reminder of his past," said Daniel's foster Abby Knight. "Now he just loves other dogs. He plays very well. He's just learning a new life."

Daniel was used as a bait-dog to train other dogs to fight. But Daniel escaped the violent life of a bait-dog, much like the biblical Daniel escaped the lion's den.

"It breaks my heart that somebody or some people could do that to this dog who is just so appreciative and loving to everyone he meets," said Knight.

Animal Control Director Hilton Cole says dog fighting is an everyday problem in the Capital City.

"Well there's no doubt that we have dog fighting everyday in East Baton Rouge Parish. Whether we catch them or not or whether they get reported is a whole 'nother thing," he said.

If caught dog fighting or even spectating, you would face felony charges. But Cole says it's difficult to catch dog fighters.

"It is hard to catch them, because there's networks of dog fighters and there's people that like to fight at the spur of the moment. To get a complaint and to get there on time is a bit of a challenge for law enforcement," he said.

Knight says Daniel is living proof that dog fighting happens in Baton Rouge. Animal Control says they pick up a few dogs a week with wounds typical of dog fighting.

If you would like to learn more about Daniel's story or even adopt him, go to Abby Knight's blog here.

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