Kapone's return shines light on dark world of dog fighting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Kapone's return shines light on dark world of dog fighting

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - More information has been revealed about the world of Mid-South dog fighting after an emotional reunion between missing Pit Bull Kapone and his Cordova family.

Kapone's owner, Brooke Shoup, said the family never imagined they would find the dog alive, especially after Memphis Animal Shelter workers recently admitted shelter employees are linked to dog fighting rings.

Animal rescuer Beverly King followed the tip that led to Kapone's return home.  She said dog fighters use Pit Bulls of Kapone's age in deadly training exercises.

"He was probably going to be used for bait, and when they found out he was worth so much, everybody in the thug community wanted a Kapone puppy," said King.  "And I think that's probably what kept him alive."

In dog fighting, bait animals are used to test another dog's fighting instinct.  They usually die during training because their teeth are filed, their nails are cut and they are wrapped in duct tape so they do not injure the dog that fighting ring leaders use to make money.

Three months ago, King heard vague tips about Kapone's whereabouts from sources in Mississippi.

"I had heard that he was being passed around to breed," said King.

Tuesday, Kapone's owners saw no signs of dog fighting.

"He seemed healthy," said Darrell Shoup.  "He's a little underweight.  Hasn't been fighting.  No scars on him or anything, so he looks good."

"He couldn't be used for fighting because he was too old," said King.

Kapone now has a microchip so he can be tracked.

Meanwhile, Senatobia and Memphis police are collaborating to find out how Kapone ended up in Mississippi and where he has been.

At the time Kapone was found, two teens were home with two other Pit Bulls.  They said Kapone wandered up to their home about three months ago.

Senatobia Police Chief Steve Holt said police will question the homeowners.

"Make contact with the adult at the residence so we can go further from there," said Holt.

The anonymous tipster declined the $8,000 reward.

The City of Memphis released a statement Wednesday saying, "We are elated that Kapone has been reunited with his family."

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