Dog fighting a ‘growing problem’ in Central Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As 8News investigates possible dog fighting in the city, animal rescuers are calling it a growing problem in the commonwealth.

Certified dog trainer Valerie Paul from Impawsible Pups in Henrico is one of several experts in the region who said it was a growing trend.

“Dog fighting is an issue all over, so there’s not any one specific locale,” she said. “You can find it in lots of different areas.”

Areas including the city of Richmond.

Police seized more than a dozen dogs from a Southside home on Wednesday. 

51-year-old Carlton Hardy was taken into custody after Richmond Police seized the dogs from his home on Ingram Avenue.

Animal welfare groups estimate tens of thousands of people are involved with dog fighting.

“It has become more of an industry in that there is less care and concern for the dog and it’s more about money and wealth and what can they make of it,” Paul said. “It’s more of a gambling sport.”

While most operations happen behind closed doors, Paul said it takes the help of residents to look for signs to put a stop to it.

“I want to see a lot of people congregating on a fairly regular basis,” Paul said. “You’re going to see a lot of dogs coming and going. It most likely going to be a quiet endeavor.”

Richmond Animal Care and Control refuses to release photos of the 13 dogs involved because they are part of an ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips