Graphic VIDEO: Officers learn investigative techniques into animal fighting

Animal control officers and police are learning the latest investigative techniques to crack down on animal fighting in Delaware. WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

Two dogs fight as men egg them on as bets are placed. Animal control officers and police from three states gathered in Middletown to get training on how to combat animal fighting.

"A lot of people don't see it, we just know it's there. We've had numerous kinds of arrests over the years as well," said Brian Whipple, chief animal control officer in Delaware.

"I've heard of people actually betting on those beta fish fighting. There's all sorts of different ways these guys will go about doing this sort of thing," hesaid.

"Most police officers across the country, when they get their basic training, they receive very little, if any, training on animal laws, so it's really kind of bringing them up to speed with what's out there," said Dave Hunt, an ex-animal control officer from Ohio who led the seminar.

"(We bring in a national expert) to train them on animal investigation techniques, warrant writing, preparing for prosecution and trial testimony, as well as other skills to crack down on animal abuse," said Hetti Brown, Delaware state director of the Humane Society of the United States.

"Animal cruelty is a crime that deserves just as much attention as any other serious crime in Delaware. So I would encourage other law enforcement agents to take part in trainings like this," she said.

Whipple says they handle up to 50 animal fighting cases a year. And he says if you suspect someone is fighting animals, report it to police.

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