Authorities arrested five men for setting up fights between dogs and wild boars at an Indian reservation in South Florida.
The men, including the founder of a boar-catching dog association, were charged with animal cruelty Thursday after a 14-month investigation into the fights at the Seminole Indian reservation near Okeechobee, authorities said.
Undercover Seminole police attended a fight on Oct. 9, 2004, in the backyard of a Seminole Indian’s home, authorities said. Twenty-one dogs and at least 14 wild boars were involved, they said.
Hog-dog fights typically match a pit bull terrier or bulldog against a wild boar in a pen for 60-second bouts.
“It’s a little known blood sport that’s been around for 25 years,” said John Goodwin of The Humane Society.
Among those arrested was Art Parker, of Fort Lawn, S.C., of the International Catchdog Association., which has a Web registry of boar-catching dogs.
Parker remained jailed Friday, according to Mary Luther, who described herself as the owner of the dog-fighting organization. Luther called the arrests “domestic terrorism” and accused authorities of acting at the behest of animal rights activists.
Hog-dog fights are “no more cruel than when I do bird hunting with my dogs,” she said in a telephone interview.