The RSPCA has said claims of kittens being sold as live bait for fight dogs on Facebook are “not true”.
Reports that kittens were being advertised on Facebook as “bait” for dog fighters included two posts purportedly selling the animals in Liverpool.
But RSPCA told the Independent their investigation found the reports to be false.
In a statement, the anti-animal cruelty organisation said: "An RSPCA inspector has looked into reports of kittens being offered for sale on social media as ‘live bait’ and we are satisfied this is not the case.
"We treat all calls about animal cruelty seriously and have checked the welfare of a number of cats and kittens in relation to these claims."
One of the posts, uncovered by the Liverpool Echo, included a picture of a dog holding on to a cat, with the cat’s head between its jaws.
The post was captioned: “Got some now, anyone want to put a bet on who wins?”
Another post showed pictures of two tiny white kittens, with the words: “Will have a litter ready for Christmas (dog bait)”.
RSPCA confirmed on Monday they received the reports and launched an investigation.
The organisation also added that its special operations unit, which investigates organised animal crime, including dog fights, has never found "strong evidence" to support claims of dog fighters setting their dogs on smaller animals before dumping them.
They said: "If someone has deliberately set their dog on another animal which has been used as bait, especially in a public place, it is unlikely that those people are organised dog fighters that train dogs to fight each other in a pit, under the traditional rules."
RSPCA has investigated and prosecuted people involved in such activity, but found these to be "sporadic incidents of thuggish behaviour".
Dog fighting has been illegal since 1835, but there are still cases of organised animal crime in which dog fighting rings take place underground.
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