Dog Fighting – On the Rise or Just in the Spotlight?
With the publicity surrounding the Michael Vick dogfighting case, we seem to be hearing more and more about dogfighting, so is it on the rise or just more well publicized? Hard to tell. Dogfighting is definitely not something new.
“Since the 1800’s, dog fighting has attracted the attention and admiration of royalty, politicians, doctors, farmers and police officers, as well as the wrath of animal protectionists, who have fought hard to end it. Yet achieving a better understanding of the sport, rather than simply condemning it, must precede any real effort at wiping it out.” (ASPCA)
Dogfighting is defined by the Humane Society of the United States as ‘a sadistic “contest” in which two dogsâ€”specifically bred, conditioned, and trained to fightâ€”are placed in a pit (generally a small arena enclosed by plywood walls) to fight each other, for the spectators’ gambling and entertainment. Fights average nearly an hour in length and often last more than two hours. Dogfights end when one of the dogs is no longer willing or able to continue. In addition to these dogfights, there are reports of an increase in unorganized, more spontaneous street fights in urban areas.”
Despite the fact that dogfighting is illegal is all fifty states and DC, sadly this horrendous underground bloodsport still flourishes. In forty-seven states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands dogfighting is a felony. In Idaho, it is classified as a misdemeanor; in Washington, the offense is a â€œgross misdemeanor,â€ and in Wyoming, it is classified as a â€œhigh misdemeanor.â€ In forty-six states, and the District of Columbia, the dogfighting statutes specifically include a provision making possessing, owning or keeping of fighting dogs illegal. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia, have provisions within the dogfighting statutes that explicitly prohibit attendance as a spectator at a dogfighting exhibition.
If you check out the site Pet-Abuse.com and run a query on ‘dog-fighting‘, you’ll find 357 cases currently listed and these don’t cover all the cases out there and they certainly don’t cover what hasn’t been exposed.
And now proponents of dogfighting are targeting younger and younger audiences. Check out this video but please note, some of the imagines are graphic!
FOX WFLD Chicago, IL – (FOX)
May. 14, 2007. 08:00 PM EST
Dog fighting is cruel, bloody and illegal. It is also a big money sport run by gang members and drug dealers. And now it’s seeking a new audience…young kids. As Mark Suppelsa reports, the effort to attract kids is being promoted in popular culture and
Dogs and cats are often stolen in order to be used for training to teach dogs to fight. According to Stephanie LaFarge, Ph. D., Senior Director, ASPCA Counseling Services, owners of fighting dogs â€œrepresent a range of personality types and psychological disorders. School life offers them little fulfillment and humiliates them into doing socially unacceptable things in an environment where beating the system is the goal.â€ Officer Mark MacDonald, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, added â€œSelf esteem is an important issue with this population. [Animal] fighting gives them the respect and power that they do not have in other areas of their lives. Many fighters come from non-responsive homes and communities with limited social or economic opportunity. They never acquire the tools to excel. With dog fighting, they are accepted, especially if they have a winning dog.â€ If their dog is a winner, so are they.
Not all dog fighters are disadvantaged economically. People involved come from every community and background. Licensed veterinarians provide care for fighting dogs and audiences include lawyers, judges, and teachers. Society needs to take a good look at the social structure of dog fighting. Participants need to seek other means for positive, life-affirming opportunities. Input from experts in gangs, drug abuse, poverty, education, law enforcement and psychology is necessary in order to comprehend and combat dog fighting at each level. (TribStar.com)
â€œStaged animal fights spawn not just malicious animal cruelty but also drug trafficking, illegal gambling, public corruption, and even murder,” says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the U.S.
Dog Fighting is Animal Abuse
Warning – graphic images!
And the dogs? The dogs used for dogfighting live short lives filled with brutality and unspeakable cruelty at the hands of those who gamble on their deaths.
Dogs who survive a fight often die from blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion or infection later. Once a dog is too injured to fight, street fighters dump it or kill it. Shelters are often full of fighting dogs that have been discarded, adding to the millions of abandoned companion animals who are euthanized each year. Pit bulls are certainly not the most adoptable animals and those that have been breed and trained to be aggressive are even less so, meaning that most fighting dogs that end up at shelters are euthanized.
Stop Animal Fighting!!
Warning – graphic images!
My conclusion – dogfighting may or may not be on the rise but with the high incidences of gangs, drugs and violence nowadays, if it is not currently on the rise, it will be. The bottom line – it needs to be stopped!!!
Please let me hear your comments and opinions on this.
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!