By Jeff Labrecque
Updated July 29, 2009 at 04:46 PM EDT

Fueled by its successful 2008 TV special about football player Michael Vick and his illegal dog-fighting operation, cable station Animal Planet will create “Animal Planet Investigates,” a periodic series of investigative documentaries. Variety reports that the station will launch the series with another special on dogfighting in January. Future episodes will address controversial issues such as animal testing, the exotic pet trade, cloning and slaughterhouses.