Dog fighting harms
By Billy Hall
Acting Animal Shelter Director
|We are called upon, more than we like, to
assist law enforcement when they crack down on illegal dog fighting. This is a troublesome
issue for not only animal lovers, but society as a whole. Dog
fighting has become a serious issue in our area and nationwide.
Why should you know how to recognize and
report suspected dog fighting activities?
Because dog fighting is a
felony in Most every state and is linked to many other illegal and criminal activities.
Law enforcement and animal welfare investigators report:
- Dog fighters are
often involved in illegal gambling, the sale and possession of drugs, as well as illegal
- Dog fighters and
spectators have a history of violent and criminal behavior toward people. THIS IS A
LEARNED BEHAVIOR!! However, upon confrontation by law enforcement agencies, the
anticipated gun battles and war like atmosphere from the fighting groups is almost never
seen. In fact, they crumble, begin to cry, hide and beg for various forms of
- 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.
Just because your neighbor owns a pit bull does not mean that he or she is a dog fighter.
serious dog fighting include:
- 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. These
"bait" animals are often stolen pets or animals obtained through "free to
good home" advertisements.
- People of all ages
coming and going in groups from a residence or other site, some with dogs.
Should You Look For?
Men, women and children attend dog fights throughout the year. Dog fighting is not a
"seasonal sport." Virtually any area within the community and county can
hold a dog fight:
- An abandoned house
- Vacant garage
- Isolated warehouse
- Commercial or
- Secluded park
- Farmhouse or barn
and/or adults with dogs, going to or coming from a site, should peak your curiosity.
atmosphere surrounding a dog fight is noticeable. Spectators cheer for their chosen dog as
the bets stack up. Growling and barking, especially if other breeds of dogs are being
used, is sometimes recognizable.
Breed of Dogs are Involved in Dog Fighting?
Dogs which have the appearance and characteristics of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
American Pit Bull Terrier or any other breed commonly known as pit bull, may be used in
dog fighting activities. Other large breeds of dogs may also be used for dog fighting.
Dogs used in fighting
often times have observable characteristics:
- Recent or
long-standing wounds and abscesses
- Short ear crops
- Scars on the head,
throat, legs, and ears
- Wide leather or web
collars with heavy rings
- Puncture wounds and
- Bleeding dogs
and/or blood stains in a confined area
- Severe injuries
that can result in death from loss of blood and internal trauma.
Remember that violence, weapons, and illegal activities go hand-in-hand with dog fighting.
Report any suspected dog fighting activities to the appropriate local law enforcement
agency --- Jackson County Sheriffs Department or one of our four municipal police
provide much of the profit associated with dog fighting. The money generated by admission
fees and gambling helps keep this "sport" alive. Because dogfights are illegal
and therefore not widely publicized, spectators do not merely happen upon a fight; they
seek it out. They are willing participants who support a criminal activity through their
paid admission and attendance.
In Most states, it is a felony for any person to:
Sponsor, promote, state or conduct a fight or fighting match
Wager or bet, promote or encourage the wagering or betting of
any money or other valuable thing on a dog fight.
Own a dog with the intent to willfully enter it or to
participate in a dog fight.
Train or transport a dog for the purpose of participation in a
To attend a dog fight or exhibition of a dog fight.
Punishment for the first offenses vary from $1,000 to $5,000 or a one- to three-year term
in a state penitentiary. The penalty for being a spectator is $500 to $5,000 fine or up to
one year in a state penitentiary.
reporting dog fighting will reduce violence and illegal activities in your neighborhood! It is up to you and your
neighbors to spread the word that dog fighting is not acceptable in your neighborhood.