Firsthand Report from Massive Dog Fighting Bust

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 3:00pm
When this little puppy was found, he wore a heavy chain typical of dog fighting victims.

Last week, we told you about our massive dog fighting bust that spanned multiple states and resulted in the removal of 367 dogs and puppies. We gave you an inside look with our on-the-scene video, and now we have a first-person account from the rescue. Below is a guest blog by Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations & Response Team, reflecting on what he found during the raid and the terrible fate of dog fighting victims.

When I first walked on the property, I stared across the yard and saw more than 100 dogs, most of them tied to heavy log chains, anchored to dilapidated dog houses. The dogs ranged from old to young, living on a worn dirt ring that likely had seen generations of dogs come and go to a sad fate.

Most were chained nose-to-nose to their neighbors to ensure continuous arousal.

I first thought of what a grim fate many of these dogs would have met without our intervention that day. But as I looked at a young, weeks-old puppy with one glance, and an aging, 10-year-old senior with another, my thoughts quickly turned to the long, lonely and painful journey of a fighting dog’s life.

This cycle begins with being chained at such an early age with little to no positive human or animal interaction. The burden continues with heavy chains, often with additional weights, to drag around their entire lives. The constant noise, arousal and anxiousness push them towards aggression to or from their yard mates. If they don't respond, their life may end quickly, but if they do, they have sealed their fate of a long, torturous life.

Their only reprieve from the chain is death or brief release to be tested against another dog, eventually going back to the chain with little attention to their wounds. What follows is weeks of intense training and significant human interaction with the person who will commit the ultimate betrayal and force them into a barbaric battle for entertainment and profit. If they survive, they go back again to the chain: A vicious cycle that could go on for years until these dogs finally have no value or fight left in them and are discarded.

Our responders are still on the ground, so please stay tuned to for more news to come. Follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #367rescue. 

If now is a good time for you to give, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA. Thank you for helping us support cruelty victims nationwide.

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These "individuals" should all be euthanized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have owned pitbulls for more than 25 years, what a priviledge. They are awesome dogs especially with our 9 year old son.


Pit bulls are the sweetest dogs. I have 2 rescue dogs but I've heard pit bulks are the best dog a family can have.

dony ponce


Renee Windward

There is a special place in Hell for people who do this. . .


I don't understand how people can be so heartless and have no soul. Every time I read a story about pit bulls, whether it is about dog fighting or not, I think of my 2 at home. It absolutely breaks my heart to think that people can be like this. Thank goodness for the ASPCA for the work that they do to rescue these innocence, helpless dogs. No animal deserves to be treated like this. Animals were not put on this earth for us to use and abuse. The people who did this should have the same punishment done to them that they put these dogs through. I hope all of these dogs get a wonderful 2nd chance at a good life. They all deserve one.


I think these horrible people should be chained outside as a punishment for the torture these cowards put these dogs through.


We have to keep working to make penalties stiffer and making the public aware of the horrible lives these dogs have. The stigma of pits is so negative, they dont realize what wonderful dogs they are, how they love in a way that is so different than most dogs. My Apple is a rescue and I use her as an ambassador for pitbull, showing people that they are loving and well behaved with the right owners.


I think these horrible people should be chained outside as a punishment for the torture these cowards put these dogs through.


I cannot comprehend how people (I use that term loosley) can actually live with themselves whilst doing this to these dogs whose only ambition it is, is to show love and affection to us. A dog will be faithful to the end no matter how bad he/she is treated.

It actually infuriates me how people call it a sport.

I have always had a dog until 5 years ago when I had to make the hardest decision in my life. I would have given anything not to make it however she gave me 10 absolutely great years and was my faithful companion. She asked for nothing but gave everything.
In my opinion the people that are responsible for these actions should be chained up to feel what it is like. Then see how much they enjoy it.


Thank you thank you thank you! You wonderful brave people!