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Dog Fighting

Gang members dog fighting in a vacant office building.

Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most of the United States, a spectator at a dog fight can be charged with a felony while some areas only consider it a misdemeanor offense. In addition, the federal U.S. Animal Welfare Act makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, possess, train, transport, deliver, or receive any dog for purposes of having the dog participate in an animal fighting venture. The act also makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly use the mail service of the United States Postal Service or any instrumentality of interstate commerce for commercial speech for purposes of advertising a dog for use in an animal fighting venture, promoting or in any other manner furthering an animal fighting venture, except as performed outside the limits of the States of the United States.

With all of those federal laws enacted, dog and rooster fighting still occurs on a regular basis in your community.  These fights are often posted on social media with notoriety of wins and their bloodline.   It is a sad reality for those dogs and is happening in plain sight.   

Animal fighting circles can be extremely dangerous, often including other illegal activities such as drugs, firearms, and gambling. Inspectors often do not carry guns and are not equipped to confront situations that would endanger their lives.


There is a US $5,000 reward for reporting dog fighting to the Humane Society of the United States. From the HSUS: How to spot signs of dog fighting in your community: An inordinate number of pit bull-type dogs being kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are chained and seem unsocialized; Dogs with scars on their faces, front legs, and stifle area (hind end and thighs); Dog fighting training equipment such as "breaking sticks" or "break sticks" used to pry apart the jaws of dogs locked in battle which are a foot long, flat on one side, and appear to be sharpened; tires or "spring poles" (usually a large spring with rope attached to either end) hanging from tree limbs; or unusual foot traffic coming and going from a location at odd hours.

CNN in 2007 estimated that in the United States more than 100,000 people are engaged in dog fighting on a non-professional basis and roughly 40,000 individuals are involved as professionals in the sport of dog fighting as a commercial activity. Top fights are said to have purses of $100,000 or more.


As community members focused on public safety, we all must report these tragic events that are happening in homes, garages, backyards, vacant buildings and wherever they can without intervention. 

Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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