We’ve got a new ace in the hole in our fight against blood sports: Animal Fighting Specialist Terry Mills. The newest Field Investigations and Response (FIR) team member will help bolster the ASPCA’s arsenal in the war on animal fighting. Mills will train law enforcement officials nationwide and work with them to spearhead investigations of dog fighting, cockfighting and other blood sports.
Mills is a major player in his field who received the ASPCA’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award in October 2009. He’s known for his work with the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) on the 2009 dog fighting raid that covered eight states, eliminating one of the largest dog fighting operations in U.S. history. Mills, who has 30 years’ experience at MSHP, spent 18 months before the raid as an undercover officer, gaining access to the underground world of organized dog fighting and collecting extensive evidence.
Mills joins the FIR team at a time when Americans are becoming more informed about organized animal fighting. According to our recent poll on blood sports, one in 10 Americans has known or suspected that someone they know is involved in organized animal fighting; more than half—51 percent—of respondents are aware of the connection between organized animal fighting and other serious crimes; and 81 percent of the general population say more resources are necessary to stop animal fighting, particularly training for law enforcement.
“As the public learns more about this issue, the ASPCA is being called to respond to more blood sports investigations than ever before,” says Tim Rickey, Senior Director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Terry’s background will be a vital resource in training law enforcement to combat this cruel form of animal abuse.”