Blog

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 aspcarescue.org 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.

0 Comments
Add new comment

Comments

Comments

chris

I will throw wood on the fire to keep it burning. Please also throw in the people who go and bet on the fights. Sick mfs

Kristin

God bless you for saving these dogs! I will never ever understand how someone could purposely put a dog in harm's way, with no love or nurturing. Breaks my hear! Wish I could adopt them all!!!!!!!!!!

Ginger Wright

Thank you Lord for all those who work so hard rescuing these poor dogs and puppies.

barb

Id just like to put a chain around these ppls privates and just jerk the hell outta it...this is so sad..just pisses me off...

Teresa Haller

Thank God for every one who works to close down the HEATHENS who do this EVIL AND SADISTIC dog fighting. I hope they are all found including spectators or ANYONE that's connected in anyway in dog fighting. They should all be bull whipped and put in prison for MANY years and hopefully with inmates that really are animal lovers. PUNKS HURT ANIMALS.......

Animal_Lover

Its atrocious what these cruel people did to all these dogs. I am so thankful that the ASPCA and the Humane Society aid law enforcement in these types of busts and do so much to rehabilitate and help the dogs after such a tragedy. No animal deserves to live like this. These poor babies. I hope the people they busted fry!! There really needs to be stricter laws and harsher punishments for people like this. They don't even deserve to be called people. I really hope the justice system takes this serious and doesn't just give them a slap on the wrist. I love all animals, especially the pit bull breed. They are wonderful, loving, loyal dogs. Its people like these that give them a bad name. It makes me sick that such a good dog gets a bad rap because of ignorant horrible people. My husband and I hope to be able to adopt one or two of these dogs. We've always had pit bulls, but 1 of ours passed away last year at age 13 and another passed away this August at 13. We have 1 left, who will be 14 in 4 days. Our dogs are our lives. We miss them so much. I can't believe people treat others so cruelly, when some of us would give anything to have our babies back. We really want to give one or two of these saved dogs a new chance at life. How do I go about adopting them once the courts release them?

Animal_Lover

Its atrocious what these cruel people did to all these dogs. I am so thankful that the ASPCA and the Humane Society aid law enforcement in these types of busts and do so much to rehabilitate and help the dogs after such a tragedy. No animal deserves to live like this. These poor babies. I hope the people they busted fry!! There really needs to be stricter laws and harsher punishments for people like this. They don't even deserve to be called people. I really hope the justice system takes this serious and doesn't just give them a slap on the wrist. I love all animals, especially the pit bull breed. They are wonderful, loving, loyal dogs. Its people like these that give them a bad name. It makes me sick that such a good dog gets a bad rap because of ignorant horrible people. My husband and I hope to be able to adopt one or two of these dogs. We've always had pit bulls, but 1 of ours passed away last year at age 13 and another passed away this August at 13. We have 1 left, who will be 14 in 4 days. Our dogs are our lives. We miss them so much. I can't believe people treat others so cruelly, when some of us would give anything to have our babies back. We really want to give one or two of these saved dogs a new chance at life. How do I go about adopting them once the courts release them?

Mary Radek

This just breaks my heart - I long for a world where such atrocities do not happen. Each day I read of more and more and it is so depressing. How people even think of these things is astounding. I would like to see much tougher laws because even when these people are caught the punishment is much too soft. These people need to be punished severely so it would be more of a deterrent. Every life should be valued - especially innocent animals.

DebbieH

I am sickened and disgusted by the less that "human beings' that can do this to any animal let alone a puppy. I hope when their judgement day comes they enjoy the hell fire they are destined to fry in. Bastards.

Cindy

We truly need to continue to get the laws changed to where the people who arrange the dog fighting, the people who attend dog fights, the people who breed dogs for fighting, even the people who breed their pit bulls in their own back yard and sell them, not knowing the pit bull's fate, to harsher sentences!! I have been arguing with PAWS, ASPCA and PETA about an owner with four pit bulls in his backyard, chained up. All the owner does is let them mate each other and sells the puppies for money. He does not care what happens to the puppies and he does not care about his own dogs. NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!! Let's get together and help change laws!!!

Pages