Humane Society calls animal's death probable dogfighting - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Humane Society calls animal's death probable dogfighting

The pitbull that was left to die at Makaha Beach Park The pitbull that was left to die at Makaha Beach Park
Keoni Vaughn Keoni Vaughn
Jae Bonarek Jae Bonarek
Melinda Merck Melinda Merck

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaiian Humane Society examined the carcass of the pit bull left to die at a Makaha beach park. It confirms the animal fits the profile for dogfighting.

"A lot of people think that these dogs that are being used in fighting are these real beefed up type of dogs. They're really not. They're usually the leaner type. And they have the short cropped ears and other signs," chief inspector Keoni Vaughn said.

Other signs on its body were old and new bite marks around the dog's ears, face and front legs.

Rescue group K9 Kokua found the dog, but it couldn't be saved. Now they want to find the animal's owner. The Humane Society's announcement is validation.

"It's awesome to hear it from them, just to confirm the findings that we were suspicious of," K9 volunteer Jae Bonarek said.

Vaughn said the Humane Society will investigate the case and consult with mainland experts. He told Dr. Melinda Merck about the dog. She lives in Gainesville, FL, and examined dogs killed in NFL star Michael Vick's widely publicized dogfighting crime.

She said the challenge in all dogfighting probes is uncovering more evidence.

"There's different types of dog fighting," she said. "There's street fighting, hobbyist, professional. Just from looking at the dog you cannot tell at what level they're doing they're dog fighting at."

Hawaii's new dog fighting law has teeth, with up to 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

But the Humane Society has three other dog fighting investigations on its books, the oldest from 2007.

"We haven't given up but we really need to rely on the community to be our eyes and ears," Vaughn said.

The Hawaiian Humane Society is offering a $5,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest and conviction for whoever abused the abandoned pit bull.

"The Humane Society believes that the human-animal bond is important," Vaughn said. "No dog should ever be used in this fashion or neglected."


EXCLUSIVE: Abused animal raises suspicion of dog fighting


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