Dogfighting and animal cruelty is something Harris County has been dealing with for some time now. Authorities busted a big ring more than a year ago that led to numerous arrests. But they continue to find the corpses of dogs believed to be used in fights.
Now, Crime Stoppers is stepping in as another tool in this battle. This is Crime Stoppers Executive Director Katherine Cabiniss.
"If you see signs of abuse, an animal with injuries that are going unreported or untreated, call Crime Stoppers, or call the police. If you know of a dogfight that is going to take place in your community, or if you know someone who is planning a dogfight, or is attending a dogfight, call Crime Stoppers, or call the police."
Tina Lundquist Faust is with nonprofit group PetSet. Even though dogfighting continues to plague the Houston area, she believes the situation is improving.
"I think that there is progress being made. I think because so many people are aware and because of events like this it creates awareness and people recognize that it is a crime and that something can be done."
With Crime Stoppers now getting involved, people will also have access to rewards.
"It’s people that are in the rescue groups, that are in the adoption centers that see the abuse that may have a link to abusers and they’re maybe not sure where to go, but through Crime Stoppers, they have a way to turn these people in and get them off the streets."
The state is also trying to do its part. State Senator John Whitmire says the legislature passed several laws related to animal cruelty, including one that allow them to keep track of people who may be breeding for criminal purposes.
"We passed an anti-puppy mill legislation. If you have eleven or more breeding females, you will be regulated by the state of Texas and have standards. That was a huge step forward. We passed in the Senate an animal registration list. It was modeled after the sexual offenders registration list, knowing that these individuals that abuse animals will most likely then repeat those crimes, often against humans."
Crime Stoppers rewards of up to five thousand dollars. The number to call is 713-222 TIPS.