Dogfighting – The Cruel Facts and Realities!
WARNING – CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES!!
Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the federal Animal Welfare Act prohibits the interstate transportation of dogs for fighting purposes. Forty-eight (48) states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have made dogfighting a felony offense. Forty-seven (47) states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit the possession of dogs for fighting. And 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands prohibit being a spectator at a dogfight.
What is Dogfighting?
Dogfighting is a sadistic “contest” in which two dogs — specifically bred, conditioned, and trained to fight — are placed in a pit (generally a small enclosed area) to fight each other, for the purpose of entertainment and gambling by the “spectators”. Fights can 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. Dog fighting is prevalent EVERYWHERE… from the most urban of neighborhoods to the deep backwoods.
Dog Fighting – Animal Cruelty
The injuries inflicted and sustained by dogs participating in dogfights are frequently severe, including deep puncture wounds and broken bones, and some are even fatal. Dogs used in these “events” often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight.
Other animals – besides the actual fight dogs – are often sacrificed as well. Some owners train their dogs for fights using smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, or small dogs. These “bait” animals are often stolen pets or animals obtained through “free to good home” advertisements.
Far Reaching Effects
Dog fighting has become a serious issue in society today.
Aside from the simple fact that dog fighting is a crime and is terribly cruel to animals, the effects on society are devastating as participants are often involved in other crimes:
- dog fighters are often involved in illegal gambling, the sale and possession of drugs, as well as illegal weapons.
- dog fighters and spectators have a history of violent and criminal behavior toward people.
- dog fighting is another entertainment activity for gangs.
- dogs trained for fighting have been known to viciously attack innocent people for no apparent reason.
- it is not uncommon for dog fighters or spectators to involve their children in dog fighting.
Research shows young children who view this type of violence have a greater acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behavior. These children are taught to believe that it’s okay to inflict the cruelties they observe and that dog fighting is an acceptable practice.
Rising in disturbing popularity is an animal sport that is drawing many spectators in rural parts of the Southeast: hog-dog fighting. Considered family entertainment, residents gather from miles around at rodeo-style arenas in rural Alabama to watch as a pit-bull is released into a pen with a wild boar, often without its tusks. The “catch-dog” competes in the blood sport by biting the ears of the hog and pulling him to the ground. Many spectators bet on which dog can subdue the hog first.
Signs of Dog Fighting Include
Signs of dogfighting may include some or all of the following but are not limited to these activities. Please also note that evidence of these activities do not constitute evidence of dogfighting.
Does the fact that your neighbor owns multiple pit bulls mean they are fighting them? Of course not. The same can be said for the tethering of dogs, hanging a tire from a tree, owning a “spring pole,” etc. Bottom line is, dog fighting is a crime for which physical evidence is needed. If you are going to report dog fighting, please make sure you are reacting to a real crime and not to your fears of a breed that is surrounded in myth and misunderstanding.
- Ownership of several adult dogs and/or puppies that are confined by thick chains with or without weights on their collars.
- Tires or other items suspended from trees to provide jaw strengthening activities.
- Hand walking, jogging or using a treadmill.
- A “cat mill” which confines a cat, rabbit or other small animal and encourages the dog to chase it may be present. As a reward for its hard, work, the dog will be permitted to capture and kill the confined animal.
- People of all ages, some with dogs, coming and going in a residence or other site and a general “party” atmosphere.
- Dogs that have short, cropped ears; recent or long-standing wounds; and/or scars on their head, throat, ears, and legs.
What Can You Do?
Remember that violence, weapons, and illegal activities go hand-in-hand with dog fighting.
- Report any suspected dog fighting activities, to the appropriate local agency.
- Support legislation that encourages severe punishment of anyone involved in dog fighting.
- It is up to you and your neighbors to spread the word that dog fighting is not acceptable in your neighborhood.
Dogfighting is a horrific act of animal cruelty that people use as a sadistic form of “entertainment” but it is nothing more than brutal bloodbath. We have all heard about the case against Michael Vick for dogfighting. It brought awareness to the public about the existence of dogfighting and animal cruelty, but it also brought about people’s cold indifference and lack of remorse for the victims of dogfighting – When supporters of Vick such as Jaime Foxx and Whoopi Goldberg defended and condoned his cruelty crimes under the heartless defenses such as dogfighting is a “cultural” issue, or because since Vick grew up in the south, dogfightings were considered an “every day event” and that dogs were considered “things,” not living creatures.
So who do you believe are the real monsters?
Ignorance of the law is no defense and no excuse for torturing and killing an innocent animal. In Michael Vick’s trial, video footage of the dogfights were discovered and showed that the dogs were forced to fight and if any refused, they were either drowned, electrocuted, hung or beaten to death.
There was one particular part of the videos that showed two men that conspired with Vick to organize the dogfights, both men were forcing two dogs near each other, expecting them to fight but instead, one of the dogs licked the other, as if trying to comfort the other’s fear of horror that was happening. These dogs have more humanity and love than the cold-hearted monsters that force these already frightened dogs to fight to the death. Dogfighting is cruelty and a crime regardless of race, ethnicity, financial background or culture. These dogs are living creatures and deserve the rights and laws that will protect them from this painful fate.
Who will be their voice?
These victims cannot talk, they cannot plead for mercy, they can only fight and bleed and die! We must be their voices! We must fight for them so they don’t have to fight.
You’ve heard the saying, “Silence signals consent.” Don’t let them suffer by your silence. Be their voice! Yell!! Scream!! Tell them we will not accept their suffering and will not allow those who force them to suffer to get away with it anymore!
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