Speaking out for our best friends

Dog Fighting


Dog Fighting: A Community Problem                


Think again.  Dog fighting degrades entire communities because it promotes a culture of violence.  Studies have shown that people who participate in violent acts against animals or enjoy watching violent acts against animals are more likely to commit violent acts against people.  Young people who are brought to fights become desensitized to violence and learn that cruelty is acceptable.  During a dog fight, dogs might fight each other to the death or face torture from their angry owners if they lose.  During organized fights, gangs may also sell or use drugs, gamble, and push prostitution.  Despite being a felony in all fifty states, dog fighting continues today.  It is estimated that as many as 40,000 people are involved in the United States in organized dog fighting.  There could be as many as 100,000 street fighters who engage in impromptu dog fights.

 You might think there aren't any dog fights going on near me.  Why should I care about this issue?  Illegal kennels are all over the United States breeding and training dogs for fighting.  Many go undetected and are "hidden" in family neighborhoods.  Only to be discovered when a tragedy occurs.  These kennels can become sites for illegal activities.  Often dogs in the surrounding community begin to disappear because they are stolen to be used for "bait" dogs.  Dogs are often used to guard the property and intimidate those around it.  Dogs and other animals that are destroyed are often disposed of illegally.  This creates health hazards for those who live nearby.

 The culture of violence surrounding illegal dog fighting is most dangerous to young people.  Children can be hurt by dogs at illegal kennels or at organized fights.  They are abused by criminals attending fights and exposed to gangs, drugs, weapons, gambling, and prostitution.  When they should be learning nurturance, empathy, and pro-social behavior from interacting with family dogs instead they learn to accept violence as normal.  This acceptance of violence becomes a culture of violence and escalates into violent acts against other people.

Help end this horrible blood sport.  Report unusual or suspicious activity.  This includes large numbers of dogs in one location, especially if the dogs have scars, frequent injuries, or different dogs appear and disappear frequently.  People coming and going at all hours, especially if they are moving dogs in and out.  The Humane Society of the United States offers a 5,000 dollar reward to anyone whose information leads to a dog fighting conviction.  If you are concerned there may be dog fighting going on in your community contact your local animal control office or HSUS at 202-452-1100.

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