STATELINE (WIFR) -- We hear about it from time to time on the national news, but dog fighting is not something we usually associate with the Stateline. However, area animal shelters are all too often coming to the rescue of four legged friends who are victims of this senseless violence.
Duke is a rambunctious but loving pitbull. You wouldn't know it from looking at him now, but Duke was the bait used in dog fighting.
"The other dogs beat up on him to get the feel of it," Ashley Downs, who rescued Duke, said.
Downs got duke when he was two years old. He had open wounds all over his back and had bite marks on one ear. If it weren't for Downs, Duke wouldn't be here today.
"They were going to euthanize him because he wouldn't fight," she said.
Stephenson County Animal Control Director Dr. William Condie says dog fighting is more prevalent than we might think.
"These dog fighting rings rotate from community to community to try to keep the heat off, but we do see evidence of the occasional bait dog either dropped on the side of the road or tied to a telephone pole," he said.
Condie says he sees about one dog a month that’s been hurt in a fight and says its evidence dog fighting is still a problem in the Stateline.
"The losers aren't given any medical care. Usually they're just executed or left to die on their own and you know there's just no reason for it," he said.
Downs says the lucky dogs like Duke who are saved from fighting rings deserve a better life.
"I got him and it completely changed. He changed the way I view dogs and it’s just all in how they're raised,” Downs said.
Like Duke, Condie says most dogs used in dog fighting in this area are pitbulls.