Dog fighting is one of the worst acts of animal abuse that exists today. The Humane Society estimates that there are over 40,000 "professional" dog fighters in U.S., and there could be an additional 100,000 "street" dog fighters. It is a cruel and inhumane money making machine where not only those gambling on the dogs make money; breeding winning males can generate thousands of dollars to dog fighters while females are strapped down to rape stands for reproduction. Their puppies are often sold at a very high price.
Fights average one to two hours, ending when one of the dogs will not or cannot continue. The dog that cannot continue is either too injured to do so or did not survive. Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight as the people involved do not provide care for any wounds inflicted. Rather, they let them suffer to die from their injuries.
Usually the dog fighters punish a dog with further abuse for not fighting up to standards or for not fighting at all. An example of this in-humaneness is Miss Blue, a sweet Pit Bull who was recently rescued from a dog fighting ring in LA. They cut off her ear as a punishment for refusing to fight. Miss Blue suffered from multiple bites and wounds, and this isn’t even the most severe case we’ve come across. Another horrific example is Oogy. You can read his story here: http://www.animals-abused.org/oogy-story.htm
In addition, the brutality used in training these dogs to fight is nothing short of sadistic. When former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was convicted on federal charges related to dog fighting in 2007, this cruel underground blood sport was thrust into the spotlight. It also brought to light the merciless treatment of these dogs that includes electrocuting; hanging, drowning, and their training methods are equally as horrific.
The ASPCA designated April 8 as National Dog Fighting Awareness Day (NDFAD) to “increase understanding and awareness about dog fighting and to encourage animal-lovers across the country to take a stand against this brutal form of cruelty.”
Dog fighting is a felony in 48 states (Misdemeanor in Idaho and Wyoming). The Department of Justice is slowly starting to crack down on dog fighting rings. Other agencies and offices under the DOJ that play role in putting an end to animal fighting include:
- Offices of the United States Attorneys
- United States Marshals Service (USMS)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Signs that dog fighting is occurring in your community include the following:
- Elusive neighbors that are often seen with different dogs especially pitbulls
- Evidence of suffering dogs (crying, foul odors, injured dogs often appear in your neighborhood)
- Dogs coming up missing often in your neighborhood
- Breeding facilities with dog houses or toppled drums that are separated and where dogs are chained and cannot socialize such as this:
If you are aware of or suspect dog fighting in your community, please call your local law enforcement officials. You can be a part of the national movement to help put an end to this form of animal abuse.
You can also send a message to the Anti-Dog Fighting Campaign, a global organization dedicated to putting an end to dog fighting worldwide, with various chapters in the US and Canada. You can message them via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AntiDogFightingCampaign?fref=ts or via twitter by following @ADFCampaign. Your information will be kept confidential. Information you provide may help with current investigations in your area or launch new ones.
In addition, the ASPCA offers a wealth of information on the issue of dog fighting and how you can take a stand. For more information and to join the campaign to put an end to this cruel “sport” please go to: https://www.aspca.org/dogfighting
*Photos of actual dogs rescued by the ASPCA in dog fighting raids. Photo credit: ASPCA
Sources: ASPCA, Humane Society, PETA