JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - News of a major dog fighting operation uncovered in Jefferson County didn't come as a surprise to some Sunday.
Law enforcement and humane society officials say dog fighting is a huge problem in Jefferson County and the entire state.
The head of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society says every week she gets calls from people reporting dog fighting in their area.
The Alabama state director for the US Humane Society says in the last few years, her office has been involved with at least a dozen dog fighting cases throughout the state - including Lee, Randolph, and Mobile counties, just to name a few.
But both women feel that in spite of what they've seen, there is a lot more going on that they don't know about.
Allison Cornelius Black, CEO of the GBHS, believes local lawmakers know how serious the problem is.
She's calling on them to do a better job of addressing it.
"We've got to get together and start sending a strong message to this community that abusing animals, we've got zero tolerance for that. Period," Cornelius says. "We're not going to put up with it. We think it's dangerous. We think it's a predecessor to other activities and crime and we will not stand for it. And those leaders have got to start putting money where their mouth is, pass some ordinances and clamping down on this dogfighting problem."
Cornelius went on to say that if the issue is not addressed she feels it will eventually start to affect our children.
She feels those who see dog fighting becoming desensitized to violence and maybe even transfer it to people.
You may remember Jefferson County officials found a 14-year-old at the site Sunday where they busted that dog fighting ring.