When pro quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation in 2007, there was a spike in reports of dogfighting in the United States.
But when the headlines faded, the blood sport grew stronger and went even more underground, with thugs taking inventive precautions to keep police at bay, animal cruelty experts say.
"They know it's just not smart to have large crowds anymore, so we've seen fights where you've got the two handlers, a referee and Web cams everywhere broadcasting the fight on the Internet," said Mark Kumpf, an investigator based in Ohio who directs the National Animal Control Association.
Fights are also being staged on the move -- in 18-wheelers. "These guys are very sophisticated," Kumpf said. "If you're driving down the road, there could be dogs in that truck driving next to you that are dying."
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