Dog Fighting: A Community Problem
THINK DOG FIGHTING DOESN'T AFFECT YOU?
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.
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