What Do You REALLY Know About Dog Fighting?

April 8 is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Designated by the ASPCA, the day is designed to educate us about what dog fighting is and how we can stop it.

dog fighters start training dogs as pups (photo from ASPCA)

Here are some interesting facts about dog fighting:

Dog fighting became popular in the US in the late 1800’s. Many police officers and firefighters were participants. That’s why the New York legislature gave Henry Bergh (founder of ASPCA) law enforcement powers- they knew he couldn’t depend on law enforcement for support.

While some dog fighters are “street fighters” who starve and beat their dogs to get them to become aggressive, the hobbyist and professional dog fighters invest in their dogs. They breed for aggressiveness, provide good nutrition and veterinary care for their dogs, and exercise and train them. And it pays off financially. Professional fights can earn big payouts for winning dogs both in purse and in breeding fees.

Stolen dogs may end up in a number of places, including in the hands of dog fighters. They’re used as bait dogs for fighters. It’s why you should never allow your dog outside unsupervised.

The reason more dog fighters aren’t arrested has to do with money. It takes lots of money to care for the dogs, who must be kept as evidence for the trial, and many communities simply cannot afford to do that without assistance from groups like the ASPCA.

Dogs rescued from dog fights are not like other dogs. Despite the hype about how the Vick dogs were rehabilitated, you can’t just adopt one and treat it like any other dog. As I said, these dogs are bred to be aggressive. And just because the dog isn’t aggressive today doesn’t mean it won’t be tomorrow. Also, former fight dogs are sometimes stolen and returned to the fighting world, so fostering a former fight dog is not something you want to brag about.

fighting dogs are kept on heavy chains to make them strong (photo by ASPCA)
fighting dogs are kept on heavy chains to make them strong (photo by ASPCA)

Want to learn more about dog fighting? Then attend tomorrow’s Google+ hangout from 7-8 PM Eastern time. The event will be monitored by ABC News’ Dan Harris. You can submit questions on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook using #NDFAD.

Find out how much you know about dog fighting when you take the ASPCA’s Dog Fighting Awareness Quiz.

31 thoughts on “What Do You REALLY Know About Dog Fighting?

  1. I think it’s wonderful you posted this! So many people are still unaware of how often this really takes place and the cruelty that these dogs suffer at the hands of dogfighters!
    As the parent of two pit bulls (both rescues) I try every day to try and make people understand that this is not typical dog behavior. That this is not something that’s just encoded in their DNA. That the dogs are actually the victims and the people behind it are low life criminals!
    Keep up the good work!!!

  2. I just recently read where someone was arrested in our state for hosting dog fighting. It’s sickening.

  3. My daughter and her Scottie were attacked by a pit bull over the weekend. The people had found the dog anf thought that it would be a good companion for their other pit. It was a very expensive lessons.

  4. The thought of any animal or bird made to fight makes me physically ill.
    I know enough. I can not bear to think about it too much.
    Michael Vick is a jack*ss & I wish he was not allowed back to play in the NFL.
    People like him should be punished far harder!
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xoxo

  5. I wanted him to be coated with grease and put in the midst of the lions at the local zoo but my husband told me that was not a nice thought. I then showed him several videos from groups rescuing these dogs and he wept. He used to be a big fan of vick because they went to the same university. Now, he is ashamed of vick. I feel for these animals because it is like, little hope for them. I am glad you and your fur brothers and sisters are safe and don’t have to be afraid.

  6. So incredibly sad what the dogs have to go through … our hearts and prayers go out to these poor animals.
    Dogs have nothing but love in their hearts, but when they are mistreated for the gain of the owner, it just hurts us. Thanks to rumpydog for sharing this information.

  7. Thanks for joining the blog hop..so sad to see these puppies tied up. There was just a big dogfighting bust in Milwaukee – we need a lot more of these…wasn’t able to join in the Google + hangout but I’m hoping we’ve all created awareness and resources to share.

  8. Everyone says dogs are stupid (they’re not!) but really, lots of the time-humans are the stupid ones. It’s just purely horrible to keep a dog (stolen, bred, brought, etc….) in such cruel conditions just so you can set them to fight. And for what? So you can earn some cash, when there are plenty of other legal ways to earn money. It’s inhuman. 😦
    But still, great post and thanks for informing me more about the depressing subject. However, it’s comforting to know that there are lots and lots of people to there who agree with me, and are trying their hardest to put a stop to it. 🙂

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