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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Paul D.

I am irate over the lack of laws and enforcement that lets this happen. And I would be happy to break the legs of the monsters that do this. How governments can turn their eyes from this is abominable


I would have hung those cruel suckers on cranes with the same chains they used for those puppies so that their fans will learn the lesson...


Any one who would put something that heavy on a puppy should be imprisoned in maximum security for years. These sadists should be put away forever.


these guys should be strung up by their cojones til they turn black and fall off. then the dogs should rip them to shreds


Thank you so much for the work that you do. I am happy that even the small amount that I give can help to save animals for this horrible and incredibly sad life.

Mariann Carroll

No living being should be subjected to this kind of life and torture. It is a sad condition of the world we live in. I hope the little money I give to the APSCA makes a difference in a animal(s) life.

Jerome I Firtel

I rescued a female Pit Bull.I named her Sadie. She was found in the middle of a street in the Bronx NY. I've had dogs since I was 7 years old and ranging from mutts to purebreds. Size from small to huge(170 lb Great Dane) Of all the dogs I've owned, my Pit Bull is the smartest, sweetest,well behaved and understands everything you tell her.
Any one that's cruel to any animal is evil and should be indicted as a felon and if found guilty put in prison.
I'm hoping that I die first because I couldn't stand to lose her.


If the courts/judges would hand down a SEVERE punishment for any animal abuse, these criminals
would refrain from hurting any animals, or it would lessen this type of crime.


What happens to the A-holes that do this to these animals? They should be forced into giving half of their future incomes to the ASPCA! This just makes me sick to think about these poor dogs. Some people should be hope for the human race.


How sad; that little puppy came into the world knowing nothing but his first learning was of abuse and meanness at the hands of humans. I am a Guardian in ASPCA and I am happy to see this little guy rescued and given a life that was meant to be learning love and security as it should be.