There is a post being shared on Facebook warning Wichitans to protect “small or overly friendly pets” because those involved with the dog-fighting circuit are stealing dogs and capturing strays to be used as bait while they practice for the dog-fighting championships.
"This is hard to take and very sad but its happening,” the post reads. “In my own investigations into the dog fighting dilemma, I have learned these things to pass on.
In the months of October and November there is a huge epidemic of dog theifts, as they are practicing for the Championship tournaments in the following months. They steal these dogs to use as bait during training. Do not let your small or overly friendly pets stay alone in the yard without paying close attention. Keep your gates locked at all times. Watch for suspicious vehicles driving by. Be Aware.
If you notice groups of vehicles gathered near empty warehouses or places out of the ordinary, pay attention, carefully. Call the police about suspicious activity. Wichita is said to be one of the Central Arenas for this horrible crime of dog fighting. Please BE AWARE AND KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE!"
The post, which originated Oct. 16, has been shared more than 200 times. It has also been copied and pasted onto many other Wichita Facebook users’ accounts. In addition to the Facebook posts, The Eagle has received a few tips of people concerned about dog theft in October and November.
It is no secret that dog fighting is going on in Wichita. In July, Wichita police seized three pit bulls in a suspected dog-fighting ring.
So, we checked with the Wichita Police Department to find out if this post was true and something those in Wichita should be concerned about.
Lt. Brian Sigman with Wichita Police Animal Services confirmed that dog fighting is occurring in city limits, and he said it is very hard to investigate because those involved are secretive.
But as for a “huge epidemic” of dog theft in October and November?
“In the attached statement about this being a huge epidemic, I’d be cautious with that and am curious as to where they are getting their information,” Sigman said in an emailed comment.
However, Sigman has only been on his Animal Services assignment for six months, so he decided to ask around just to make sure.
“It does not appear to be an issue that any of the Animal Services officers have noticed over the years,” he said in an email. “Once again, I would caution you on using the phrase of it being a ‘huge epidemic’ as I have nothing to support this as fact.
“As far as the months of Oct/Nov being active months for dog thefts, this is also something that is ‘news’ to my personnel here,” he continued. “Sorry I can’t help substantiate any of the claims your source is claiming but if there was a trend going on we would generally know about it here since we deal with animal issues within the city.”