There is very little that gets my blood boiling more than the thought of dogs being forced to fight, sometimes to the death. It’s not just that, though that’s quite bad enough, it’s the fact that they’re forced their entire lives to endure abuse, which often includes forcing them to tread water in pools for hours, run on a treadmill with a terrified bait animal dangling in front of them, or hanging onto a chain baited with meat several feet off the ground to strengthen their jaws and neck. Most are routinely starved and taunted to set off their extreme survival instincts and encourage more aggressive behavior. They are also often chained with huge, heavy logging chains from the time they’re a puppy. These chains often weigh anywhere between 30 and 100 lbs. and they’re forced to carry them for their entire lives.
Can you imagine that hanging off your own dog’s neck? It’s awful to even contemplate.
Many of these dogs are also injected with steroids, have their teeth painfully sharpened, have their ears cut off to prevent another dog latching on (often with scissors as they can’t be bothered to take them to the vet), and have roach poison put in their food to make their fur taste bad to their opponent.
Winners are forced to fight again and again and if they continue to win they are then used as a breeding dog. Females are tied to a “rape stand” so they don’t fight as the male dog impregnates them. She’s bred over and over and over again until she’s too old to bear pups any longer, at which time she’s either dumped or killed. Puppies of “winners” have been known to be sold for thousands upon thousands of dollars.
The loser of the fight is usually taken out and shot, hung, electrocuted, beaten, drowned, slammed against the ground, or killed in some other atrocious manner. It’s horrible and makes me want to puke, but it might almost be considered a mercy when they’re put out of their misery. Unfortunately, some of the losing dogs are used as “bait” dogs instead, and that makes it all the worse. Bait dogs are used to give the “game” dogs, the winners and challengers, practice tearing up another dog without being harmed. For this reason, bait dogs usually have their muzzles taped shut or their teeth knocked out so they can’t fight back. They’re then tied to a tree or a pole or trapped in a pit where several of the “game” dogs are unleashed on them. Most bait dogs die from their injuries or are tossed out or killed after they’re no longer of use.
Although fighting dogs are usually those known as “pit bulls,” such as Staffordshire Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bulldogs, and American Pitbull Terriers, bait dogs can be any breed of dog. Though many fighters prefer to use the pups of fighting dogs that are non-aggressive or submissive, they will use any dog. They have even been known to steal dogs right out from someone’s backyard! Rather scary to think about! Some breeds that have been found as bait dogs besides the usual breeds of fighting dogs are Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Labrador Retrievers, and many others, purebred and otherwise. Essentially, they will take any dog they can get their hands on. This is why it’s so important that no one advertise their dog or puppies for free on Craigslist or any other buy/trade/sell site. Dog fighters will send their girlfriend, wife, and sometimes even their children to go and “adopt” these dogs, then they bring them home where the dog is either used as a fighting dog if it’s aggressive enough, or it’s used as a bait dog. It’s horrible and a felony offense, but we all need to be aware that this does happen. It’s estimated that there are tens of thousands of dog fighters in the USA, alone. It has to be stopped.
So how can you help? Report any suspicious behavior to your local police department and, because fighting dogs are often chained out in the elements, push for an anti-chaining ordinance in your area. Do not approach the people, dogs, or property if you suspect the owners of dog fighting. Dog fighters are typically involved in many other criminal activities such as illegal gambling, drug activity, and murder. Call your local police!
Another way to help is by donating to the ASPCA in their fight against cruelty to animals, here: https://secure.aspca.org/donate/donate?ms=wb_rig_quote-dogfighting&initialms=wb_rig_quote-dogfighting&pcode=WEBMEMBER&lpcode=WEBGUARD
You can also take the Cruelty Pledge (I did!), here: https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/pledge-fight-cruelty?ms=wb_rig_otherways&initialms=wb_rig_otherways
Keep your eyes open and, for the love of dogs everywhere, let’s stop the dog fighting blood sport!
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