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Although dog fighting is a felony in all fifty states, plus Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, this brutal and inhumane form of ‘entertainment’ is still practiced today. It’s still in the news quite often.
About a week ago, in Texas, a couple was arrested because they had been accused of dog fighting. In Ohio, 205 pit bulls were found on the property of a man who had been who had been training the dogs to fight — a case of animal hoarding and dog fighting. And in Chicago, a dog involved in a fight was shot when it attempted to attack a police officer.
The prevalence of dog fighting, after having declined since stricter laws against it were enforced in the 1990s, has increased as of late. This increase is mostly due to the rise of general crime (especially street fighting) in urban areas. The Internet has also facilitated dog fighting activities; it’s easier to compare dogs, exchange information and find opponents online.
Because of dog fighting, breeds like pit bulls, bull terriers, bulldogs, mastiffs and others have been given a bad reputation. Pit bulls and other ‘bully’ breeds are not intrinsically ‘bad’ or ‘aggressive’ animals; it’s all in how they’re raised. Dogs raised specifically for fighting are not often socialized much with other animals or with humans and they are taught to become aggressive so that they may survive fights and make their handlers a lot of money. They are kept on short chains, and become frustrated without the freedom to run, which adds to their aggression. A pit bull raised by a kind and caring breeder can be a loving, protective family pet.
Dog fighting often goes undetected because those who perpetuate it are skilled at hiding their activities. The best thing for individuals to do to help counteract dog fighting is to keep your eyes open. If you see a dog with heavy scarring, improperly cropped ears or tail, or if you hear or see any evidence of dog fighting, don’t hesitate to call your local ASPCA or the police. Sadly, some dogs that are rescued from dog fighting operations are so aggressive that they are dubbed unadoptable and have to be euthanized.
However, there are also unique ways to combat dog fighting. Author Kaylie Newell has written a romance novelabout dog fighting and its aftermath, titled Falling in Danger. A large amount of proceeds from the novel will support The Pixie Project animal rescue, which rehabilitates abused animals and finds homes for them. So if you’re interested in learning more about dog fighting and helping to prevent it, why not buy a book?