Owners fear stolen pit bulls used for dogfighting
Posted March 5, 2009 5:40 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT
Hope Mills, N.C. — Linda Zoldy is terrified about the fate of her family’s 2-year-old pit bull, Duke, who was stolen out of her fenced in yard. She fears the animal is being used for dogfighting.
“I cry every night over this dog, just picturing what they’re doing to him,” Zoldy said.
Zoldy, who lives in the Gray's Creek area, said she spends every spare moment looking for Duke, who went missing in January. She has passed out 200 fliers and continues to search back roads near her home for the dog everyday. Locals say some of those back roads are known for dogfighting.
“There’s a lot of illegal stuff going on,” Zoldy said.
The nearby neighborhoods are considered so dangerous that Zoldy’s children are concerned for her safety.
“They’re afraid something is going to happen to me,” Zoldy said.
Duke isn’t the only missing pit bull in the area. Tamara Levalley, of the Haymont area near downtown Fayetteville, said her 6-month-old pit bull was taken, too.
“How could someone do this?” Levalley said.
Levalley said her pit bull and German shepherd were let out of her yard in mid-February. Someone found and returned the shepherd, but her pit bull remains missing.
Witnesses reported seeing a woman steal the dog at a BP gas station at the intersection of Morganton Road and MLK Boulevard in Fayetteville. They said a woman grabbed the dog, put it in her car and drove away. That pit bull has never been found.
Cumberland County Animal Control investigators say that in many cases, dogs are stolen to be bred or used as bait for dogfighting. Dogfighting is a problem in the county, but it is often hard to make an arrest because under state law, dogfighters must be caught in the act, investigators said.
An average of 10 to 15 reports of dogfighting are received each year, Investigator Alan Canady said. No one has been charged with dogfighting, and most suspects end up being charged with animal cruelty or possession of dogfighting paraphernalia.