9 pitbulls seized from suspected dogfighting ring in Alexandria

Popeye, 13, was one of the dogs rescued from a suspected dogfighting ring in Alexandria.

Animal lovers are in disbelief over a suspected dog fighting ring uncovered in Fairfax County.

Nine pit bulls were rescued from an Alexandria home last month.

One of them is now being put in the spotlight to highlight the dangers of animal cruelty.

Popeye, a 13-year-old pit bull, is scarred from years of being attacked.

Patrick Cole of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is giving him a loving hand, after years of abuse and after Fairfax County Police busted a suspected dogfighting ring.

"It's not just something that you find in rural areas or in abandoned warehouses in the middle of an inner city, dog fighting can happen anywhere," Cole says.

"It's something as a veterinarian that you have to be comfortable standing your ground," says Dr. Katy Nelson, a veterinarian. "If you feel like something is going on in the cases that you're seeing, you have to be the advocate for those animals."

And she's calling on the public to be watchdogs too.

Signs of trouble include lots of changing dogs moving in and out of homes and backyard breeding.

Cole says it's a bigger problem than we realize.

He doesn't necessarily think a lot of people are fighting dogs in Alexandria, but they own dogs that they're training and boarding for the purpose of fighting elsewhere.