SHORT TAKES : Staged Dogfight Charges Probed

From Times staff and wire service reports

Police and NBC are investigating allegations that a television station staged a fight between two pit bull terriers for a report on illegal dogfights.

KCNC-TV insists that it received a videotape of the fight in the mail. The allegations arose from a four-part series on illegal dogfights compiled by KCNC reporter Wendy Bergen and two video camera operators. In Colorado, staging a dogfight or attending one is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a maximum $1,000 fine.

One of the reports, broadcast April 30 to May 2 during a ratings "sweep" period, featured the fight between two unmuzzled dogs that police say occurred on a grassy area near the South Platte River in Sheridan, a Denver suburb.

After the report, sources telephoned some competing Denver TV stations and a newspaper with claims that the fight was staged for KCNC and that the station paid for it.

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