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Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Bloodthirsty Underworld of Dogfighting

BY THE NUMBERS

Dog-fighting facts from the U.S. Humane Society:

40,000 -- Number of people who are involved in dog fighting each year in the United States.

250,000 -- Number of dogs that have been used for fighting per year during the last decade.

12 -- A dozen or so magazines promote dog fighting.

86% -- Percentage of people in 332 dog fighting and animal cruelty cases in Chicago from 2001-2004 with previous criminal arrests; most were members of street gangs.

U.S. Dog-Fighting Rings Steal Pets for "Bait" - They also look for listings in newspapers and on the internet for "free to good hone" ads. DON"T BE FOOLED by them! Just NEVER, EVER,list an animal for "free".
Always put a price, no matter if you are giving the animal away. This will deter "bait" dog lookers.

Animal-welfare groups and law-enforcement officers say pets throughout the country are frequently nabbed for "bait"—animals used to test another dog's fighting instinct. The "bait" is mauled or killed in the process.

(From HSUS)
Dogfighting's violent nature and appeal to gamblers have made the blood sport a brutal, yet popular pastime since its introduction to America in the early 1800s. But although the practice has since gone underground, the underlying theme hasn't wavered—dogfighting remains a malicious exploitation of animals.

The blood sport continues to menace communities despite the fact that it's illegal in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. While 48 states have made dogfighting a felony crime, most states impose only misdemeanor-level penalties for attending dogfights, which does little to discourage animal fighters or encourage law enforcement to pursue cases.


Why Should You Care?

Dog fighting has become a serious issue within our community. Why should you know how to recognize and report suspected dog fighting activities? Because dog fighting is a felony and is linked to many other illegal and criminal activities. Law enforcement and animal welfare investigators report:

* dog fighters are often involved in illegal gambling, the sale and possession of drugs, as well as illegal weapons.

* dog fighters and spectators have a history of violent and criminal behavior toward people.

* dog fighting is another entertainment activity for gangs.

* dogs trained for fighting have been known to viciously attack innocent people for no apparent reason.

* it is not uncommon for dog fighters or spectators to involve their children in dog fighting.

Research shows young children who view this type of violence have a greater acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behavior. These children are taught to believe that it's okay to inflict the cruelties they observe and that dog fighting is an acceptable practice.