Officials reveal signs of dog fighting to look out for - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Officials reveal signs of dog fighting to look out for

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Two pit bulls, with obvious signs of injury, have been found in the same Piney Woods neighborhood of Chattanooga over the past few weeks: one of those dogs had to be put down, the other survived

"She was very lucky, we found her and at the time all she had was old scars, she didn't have any new or open wounds that means she was probably sitting around awaiting her next fight," sighs McKamey Animal Services Officer Olivia Swafford.

Barely a year old, this pit bull named Oksana has had a tough life already.     

Investigators with McKamey say they suspect Oksana was an unwilling pawn in the illegal blood sport of dog fighting.

How can they tell? By the location of wounds according to Swafford.

"They'll mostly be to the front of the dog to their face and their legs you'll see old scars from old fights covered up by new ones."

Swafford goes on to say bite marks to a dog's neck suggest dog fighting as well, as canines will fight but usually, only to submission.

"The reason she is willing to do the things that she does in a dogfight is because she loves her human so much, she's doing it out of loyalty to the human that she's trying to please and that makes it especially sick because most of these dogs are real friendly and they just love people and they just want to be loved by them," says Swafford, who adds the clandestine world of dog fighting exists in plain view, but you have to know what you're looking for.

Oksana was found in a Chattanooga neighborhood where another pit bull was found two weeks ago suffering similar, but far more extensive injuries that required him being euthanized.

Swafford says many former fighting dogs like Oksana do have a second chance at life without violence.

"She's great, she's passing all her assessments and we're very hopeful she will find a great home."

The reward for information into the Piney Woods dog abuse has been upped from $500 to $750. To leave an anonymous tip, call 423-305-6508.

Dog fighting is illegal and is a class E felony in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, McKamey animal services hope Oksana will be available for adoption very soon.

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