Because dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states in the country, most people assume that dog fighting is a rare occurrence – one that only happens in few places, and that those who participate only comprise a very small part of American culture. However, as explained by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), this is not the case. In fact, the ASPCA claims that dog fighting continues to be a “popular” underground activity.
April 8, 2019 is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice of dog fighting and its prevalence, consider the following information–
What Is Dog Fighting?
Dog fighting is a brutal and inhumane sport in which dogs are forced to fight one another, sometimes to the death. Dogs that are in a fight are contained in a small space of up to about 20 feet, preventing either dog from being able to flee. Typically, dogs that are selected for fighting are breeds that have been deemed aggressive, including–most popularly–the American Pit Bull Terrier. As explained in another article published by the ASPCA, while dog fighting is not usually to the death, dogs often die later as a result of severe injuries that are incurred while fighting. Those dogs that lose not only face risk of death and complications from injuries, but are often discarded or even savagely executed – all in the name of sport.
The fighting alone isn’t the only horrific part about dog fighting; the dogs are often bred to fight, raised in isolation away from humans or other animals, and spend the majority of their lives tied to a chain. In addition, their ears and tails are often chopped off – an extremely cruel act, as dogs use these parts of their body not only give cues to other creatures, but also to perceive the world around them. What’s more, the dogs are often subjected to steroid injections and drugs that not only increase muscle mass, but also lead to more aggressive behaviors.
Dog Fighting Statistics and Figures
As stated above, dog fighting is shockingly more common than the average person may think. In 2013, the ASPCA worked to end dog fighting operations in six states where more than 500 dogs were involved – and that was only over a two-month period. Between the six-year period spanning 2003-2008, there were more than 1,000 dog fighting arrests made in the U.S.
The primary motivation for dog fighting is money. In fact, major dog fight raids in the country have resulted in monetary seizures of more than half of a million dollars. In a single fight, it is not uncommon for up to $30,000 to exchange hands. This number does not include the money that is generated from the breeding and selling of puppies. In addition to money, winning dogs also bring owners status.
In addition to the money that is a direct result of breeding, selling, and fighting dogs, dog fighting is associated with a number of other crimes, too. These crimes include, but are not limited to, gambling, drug possession, firearm possession and sale, alcohol violations, probation violations, and more. Sometimes, disagreements about dog fights lead to assault charges; in rare cases, even homicide charges have been pressed.
Putting an End to Dog Fighting
The ASPCA along with numerous other organizations and agencies, including various law enforcement departments nationwide and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, are working hard to put an end to the barbaric practice of dog fighting. As the ASPCA so succinctly puts it, dog fighting is a “betrayal of the human-animal bond,” as well as a “deep stain on our national character.”
We Support National Dog Fighting Awareness Day
At the offices of MG Law, our personal injury lawyers are passionate about putting an end to dog fighting, and want to help get the word out about National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. You can learn more about dog fighting by visiting https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/dogfighting.
If you notice any signs of dog fighting in your community, including dogs with multiple scars, overly-large or muscular pit bulls or pit bull-mixes, dogs kept on heavy chains, or dogs that are penned in a secluded area, please take action by contacting your local authorities.
In addition to taking a stand in the fight to end dog fighting, our lawyers also want members of our community to know that we offer support and guidance for those who have suffered any injuries due to the intent or negligence of another. For a legal advocate on your side if you’ve been injured, please call us directly or send us a message for your free consultation.