A longtime problem in the south is springing back into people's awareness because of the Michael Vick case - dog fighting.
Investigators say they know of organized dog fights in five central Alabama counties.
The problem? Catching the crime as it happens.
Investigators thought they might have spotted a source of some fighting pit bulls in Macon County but now say they didn't have enough evidence to make that case.
When Macon County compliance officer Bill Cook drove up Tuesday morning with two male pit bulls and two female pit bulls - one carrying puppies - one thing became apparent: none of them acted in a threatening manner.
But they did have some scars. One female is missing part of her right jowl, and the youngest male has bite marks on his snout, which might lead someone to believe he was in a fight.
Cook says he was; just not the organized kind.
"The scars the dogs show signs of dogs amongst themselves getting into it because the chains broke loose," he said.
For three days, Cook has watched the rural lot where an unidentified owner held twenty three pit bulls. Cook says after having a vet check the dogs and the yard for evidence, they could not prove dog fights were held there.
And, he says, there was no other evidence of wrongdoing other than animal neglect.
"A lot of time breeders feel like they can make money for breeding these animals and have no direct connection with dog fighting," Cook said.
But that doesn't mean these dogs might not have gone to new owners who did train them.
Cook says investigators know of organized fights in Macon, Lee, Montgomery, Elmore and one other county.
There's no way anyone can prove the breeder had anything to do with those fights. But one thing seems certain; he won't in the future. Cook says he's going out of business.
"We're going to level some charges," he said.
Cook declined to identify the owner of the lot, saying that while he will face at least four counts of animal neglect, a misdemeanor, his name is not part of the public record yet.
He is also cooperating with police.
Through Cook, the owner also refused to let us visit the dog lot on Macon County Road #2.
Cook says he and other investigators need your help to end illegal dogfights in Alabama.
He's asking the public to call his office at 334-724-2554 or 9-1-1 whenever they see suspicious large gatherings or hear excessive barking from isolated areas.