The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday launched a 24-hour tip line for local residents to report dogfighting.
Those who call the tip line (877-NO2-FITE) and provide information about a dogfighting ring, an upcoming dogfight or an individual who is involved in dogfighting will be able to collect up to $5,000 if the information leads to the arrest or conviction of individuals involved.
However, if a fight is in progress, 911 should be called immediately, District Attorney Steve Cooley said at the morning press conference.
“Our goal is to encourage citizens to help law enforcement root out a brutal crime that often goes unreported and occurs in the shadows,” Cooley said.
Calls will be answered by a person 24 hours a day and the tip line will be available in both English and Spanish.
Residents who call can remain anonymous and still collect up to $5,000 if the information leads to arrests or convictions for dogfighting.
The Humane Society of the United States, which is funding the reward program, estimates that dogfighting is widespread in Los Angeles County. Specific numbers for the county were not available. In the United States, the HSUS estimates that 40,000 people follow organized dogfighting circuits.
Dogfighting is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison, according to the Los Angeles Country District Attorney’s Office. Being present at a fight or while preparations are being made for a dogfight is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to six months in jail.