This year already, two men were arrested in D.C. on dogfighting charges and a third man is sought.
Officials with the D.C. Humane Rescue Alliance are working to crack down on the vicious animals abuse.
In 2017, the HRA saved 317 abused animals in the D.C. area. Nationally, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that more than 10,000 people commit dogfighting crimes.
In D.C., dogfighting operations can be especially hard to catch because, unlike in rural areas, the dogs are often kept indoors.
“In the District, we don’t have a lot of space, so a lot of the time dogs are kept in apartments, basements, houses, crates,” Chris Schindler of the HRA said. “It makes it a lot harder to identify where the animals are."
In one case in Southeast D.C., a man named Jaquan Jackson was charged last month with keeping 12 dogs and a 5-foot-long alligator in his home.
In Northeast D.C., Travon Brown was arrested last month after officials found several injured dogs in his home. The HRA said they found evidence of dogfighting.
Later in the month, another underweight dog was found at the the house. The dogs are now under HRA's care.
In District Heights, Maryland, officials searched the home of Terence Dorsey and found evidence of dogfighting. Dorsey was arrested this week but denies charges of dogfighting against him.
To find abused dogs and the people who dogfighting operations, tips from the public are key, Schindler said.
“We want the public's help,” he said.