The World of Dog Fighting

Fights are horrible things to witness. In front of you are two dogs. You can still see wounds from previous fights littering their skin, as well as the imprint of their ribs due to starvation and malnutrition. These two dogs that probably only want a loving family to take them on walks each morning and play with them and whose only worries should be when their next meal or bath is are forced to fight each other. Two abused dogs in these terrifyingly unsafe environments stand in front of you, surrounded by crowds of people who only care about dog versus dog violence. You can do nothing to help them as you watch their owners let go of their collars and they lunge towards each other, fighting for their lives and their right to live. Dog fighting is one of the most inhumane forms of animal abuse that exists and people need to take a stand against it.

Dog fighting is an illegal blood sport in which two dogs are pitted against each other. These animals are forced to rip each other to shreds purely for the entertainment of spectators. Dogs that fight are often put on steroids and other narcotic drugs that encourage aggression and mask pain in order to prepare them for matches. Other preparations include cropping and docking dogs’ ears and tails. The cause of this is to prevent them from being grabbed by other dogs in fights. Not only are these body parts cut off of these poor animals, they are frequently cut in crude, inhumane ways, usually by the dog's owners. These helpless animals generally suffer from serious injuries post-fighting, such as broken ribs and other bones, puncture wounds from teeth and bites, lacerations, blood loss, internal bleeding, and infections.

Dog fighting has been around for more than 265 years. Historical accounts of mutt-matches date back as far as the 1750s. In the 1860s, professional fighting pits for dogs began to proliferate. Finally, in the 1990s, the fighting began to decline. However, law enforcement speculates that the illegal sport has once again spiked, with the internet making it easier than ever to exchange information.

Typically, dog fights occur in small, 14-20 square foot arenas with cardboard or plastic walls designed to contain the animals. However, these fights can be staged anywhere from carefully organized abandoned areas to a makeshift pit in the backyard of a house. The people who stage dog fights are incredibly greedy and are willing to sacrifice another animal’s life if there is even the possibility of monetary gain on their part. Major dog fight raids have resulted in seizures of more than half a million dollars. It is not uncommon for $20,000-$30,000 to swap hands during fights. As well as matches, puppies from puppy mills are often sold and bred for the sole purpose of fighting them. Many people who participate in the pitting of these playful pals indulge in the puppy mill business to bring in more cash. Wayne Pacelle, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “Puppy mills create misery for dogs.”   

Dogs are not safe after the fight either. If they can survive through the battle, win, and not die from wounds or drugs, they will get to live for a while before their next fight, where they may or may not die. Outside the arena, dogs are held on short, heavy chains, often just out of reach of other dogs. Although they are given basic veterinary care by their owners, this can result in the charge of illegally practicing veterinary medicine.

Dog fighting is illegal because it involves animal abuse. Abuse, as I’m sure you know, is illegal. In addition, dog fighting involves the use of illegal drugs. “Earth was created for all life, not just human life,” said A.D. Williams, a former football player. Dog fighting needs to stop. It is a serious problem that involves the mistreating of animals. Dog fighting is a crime, not a sport. A.D. Williams stated, “Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and me.”