Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 17:46 UK

Four held in dog fighting raids

Four people have been arrested and four pitbull-type dogs seized following a series of co-ordinated raids across Teesside and Birmingham.

Several addresses were raided by the RSPCA and police officers from Cleveland and West Midlands investigating organised dog fighting.

Two arrests were made at Bordesley Green in Birmingham, with one each in Stockton and Middlesbrough.

The dogs - some scarred - are in RSPCA care awaiting veterinary checks.

'Sickening behaviour'

As well as the arrests, officers discovered treadmills and dog fighting training records.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: "The intended effect of this operation is to send a clear message to individuals that this sickening behaviour will not be tolerated."

Ch Insp Mike Butcher of the RSPCA special operations unit, added: "People may think that dog-fighting has gone away, but that's simply not true.

"There are still people who seem to gain pleasure from seeing two dogs ripping each other to pieces, so whilst those people continue to pursue their vile hobby, the RSPCA will continue to pursue them."

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