Dog Fighting: A Deadly Sport
What is dog fighting?
Dog fighting is a blood sport where two dogs are put in a pit or ring together and must fight each other until one dog is unwilling or unable to continue. This is purely a spectator sport that was created to satisfy man's thirst for blood. Dog fighting has been clearly linked to 1835 after England outlawed bull-baiting. Bull-baiting is where they would use bulldogs to bait bulls and bears simply for entertainment. Once it was deemed illegal men started breeding their bulldogs with scrappier terrier breeds to create the "bull terriers." Fighting these dogs was the alternative to the bull-baiting in England, Ireland, and both North and South Americas.
Levels of Dog Fighting
Hobbyists are people who fight dogs on a casual scale. They tend to take notice in the care and breeding of their dogs, which usually consist of of 1 or 2 dogs per owner. The fights that are held by hobbyists tend to be only a few a year and spread out. Hobbyists are more likely to travel fairly long distances for fights. Gambling is usually a small factor but not and addictive one, for the most part. This is due to the low frequency at which owners and spectators gather.
Professionals, on the other hand, are the major money makers in the dog fighting community. Their "inventory" or number of dogs can easily be around 50 dogs at any given time. The dogs are not people aggressive, and those that become aggressive towards people are either destroyed or sold to some one who is looking for dog that is. The reason that professionals and most hobbyists don't like people aggressive dogs is because how much handling the actually required in organized dog fights. Dogs are trained to be dog aggressive only. People who fight dogs professionally also breed their dogs and sell the puppies of "champion" blood lines, prices can easily get up to $20,000 per puppy of a dog that has won over 5 "professional" fights.
Street, or gang dog fights, are the most dangerous for spectators to watch. Street dog fights are usually gang related, unregulated, and occur in alleys, yards and even in the middle of the road.. People who fight dogs in this manner tend to not care for their dogs as well as hobbyists and professionals. The dogs are usually dog and people aggressive and are used for protection against any threat. In order to make these dogs more aggressive, owners starve and beat them.
Items Used In Dog Fighting
There are several things that "professionals" use to enable their dogs to perform better or to be able to fight at all. These items include break sticks, pain killers, treadmills and steroids. Break sticks are used to get dogs to release their bite. It is inserted into the mouth of a dog biting and causes them to release their grip. Pain killers are used to numb the dogs and allow them to continue to fight with little or no pain. This is usually a cause for even more damage, as dogs who are heavily medicated will not notice when a particular movement is causing pain. They will put more strain and stress on injuries without know it. Treadmills are used to increase a dogs stamina through exercise. Steroids are also widely used in dog fighting rings, just as in with human sports, they are used for performance enhancement. The dogs are injected with the steroids to increase muscle mass quickly.
Where Are Dog Fights?
Since dog fighting is highly illegal and is accompanied by illegal gambling, dog fights are often at secret or hidden locations. They can be found in any type of setting and any city. They are generally hard to track down because of their "underground" followings. And now, with the wide usage of the internet, people are able to communicate and exchange information much more quickly. This is also a reason why ASPCA and law enforcement officers have a difficult time pin pointing locations of dog fighting.
With the appeal of illegal gambling and the interest in blood sports, dog fighting has become quite a large past time for many people. The organization, management and overall quality of the crimes could be the main causes for task forces to be unsuccessful in eliminating dog fighting.