Dog Fighting Part One; Then and Now

Hey dog lovers, Dog fighting is a serious issue in our world today and I believe everyone should be educated about dog fighting so we can end it and make it illegal everywhere.

dog fighting 1

When and how did dog fighting come to America?

Although there are historical accounts of dogfights going back to the 1750’s, widespread activity emerged after the Civil War, with professional pits proliferating in the 1860’s, mainly in the Northeast.

Ironically, it was a common entertainment for police officers and firemen, and the “Police Gazette” served as a major source of information on dog-fighting for many years. Although many laws were passed outlawing the activity, dog fighting continued to expand throughout the 20th century.

Where did these animals come from?

Many of the animals were brought from England and Ireland, where dog fighting had begun to flourish after bull-baiting and bear-baiting became illegal in the 1830’s.

How has the ASPCA combated dog fighting through the years?

Throughout its history, the ASPCA has fought for stronger laws against all forms of animal cruelty. A 1981 report commissioned by the ASPCA entitled “Dog fighting in America: A National Overview,” concluded that dog fighting was more widespread than the public or law enforcement imagined and that stronger laws at the state and federal level were needed.

dog fighting 2

Q. How does the ASPCA combat dog fighting today?

The ASPCA anti-cruelty e-learning program offers law enforcement and animal welfare professionals free online coursework on combating dog fighting and investigating animal abuse.

In addition, the ASPCA regularly provides training and assistance to prosecutors on how to build an effective case against those charged with these crimes, and its experts often serve as witnesses in such cases.

Who Is Involved?

Q. Are there different levels of dog fighting?

Most law enforcement experts divide dogfight activity into three categories: street fighting, hobbyist fighting, and professional activity:

  • “Street” fighters engage in dogfights that are informal street corner, back alley, and playground activities. Stripped of the rules and formality of the traditional pit fight, these are spontaneous events triggered by insults, turf invasions or the simple taunt, “My dog can kill yours.”
  • “Hobbyist” fighters are more organized, with one or more dogs participating in several organized fights a year as a sideline for both entertainment and to attempt to supplement income. They pay more attention to care and breeding of their dogs and are more likely to travel across state lines for events.
  • “Professional” dog fighters often have large numbers of animals (as many as 50 or more) and earn money from breeding, selling, and fighting dogs at a central location and on the road. They often pay particular attention to promoting established winning bloodlines and to long-term conditioning of animals. They regularly dispose of animals that are not successful fighters or breeders using a variety of methods, including shooting and blunt force trauma. Unlike professional dog fighters of the past, both professionals and hobbyists of today may dispose of dogs that are too human-aggressive for the pit by selling them to “street” fighters or others who are simply looking for an aggressive dog — thus contributing to the dog bite problem.

Q. How widespread is dog fighting in America?

As with any other illegal underground activity, it is impossible to determine how many people may be involved in dog fighting. Estimates based on fight reports in underground dog fighting publications, and on animals entering shelters with evidence of fighting, suggest that the number of people involved in dog fighting in the U.S. is in the tens of thousands.

While organized dog fighting activity seemed to decline in the 1990’s, many law enforcement and animal control officials feel that it has rebounded in recent years. Street fighting has reportedly continued to grow as a significant component of urban crime. The Internet has also made it easier for dog fighters to rapidly exchange information about animals and fights.

dog fighting 3

Q. Is dog fighting more prevalent in one part of the country or another?

No. Dog fighting has been reported in urban, suburban, and rural settings in all regions of the country.Fighters were traditionally attracted to states with weaker penalties for dog fighting and animal cruelty, many in the South — but laws continue to be made stronger throughout the country. As a result, this activity is no longer limited to any single area, but it is more likely to thrive wherever enforcement of anti-fighting laws is weak.





That’s it for today’s post guys I hope you all find it very informative and this is a part one of three series. Next week look for “The Dogs Used in Fighting.” Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to check out Scarves for Paws for your scarf needs!!

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog” M.K Clinton (author of The Returns)


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