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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Thank you for all the work you do


Someone needs to dump every one of those worthless losers into a dungeon, attach the same chain to them and just walk away and close the door for good. Something other than a simple slap on the hand and let them lose to do it over again.


Also, thank you ASPCA for all you do!

Lori Odle

My heart feels happy for these animals you rescued! Thank God for your work.

Norma Deston

What a heartbreaking picture of this poor puppy. Thank God he was rescued by the ASPCA. I wish there were more serious penalties for those souless individuals who participate in this cruelty.


Thank God you rescued these beautiful doggies. I cannot understand how human beings can be so cruel. What can of world do we live in...


A lot of the people who raise and harbor pit bulls for fighting purposes live in states where many people go to church.

Why aren't the pastors of these churches and the elders and congregations speaking up, preaching, teaching how it is the moral obligation of the parishioners to treat animals with kindness and to get help if they see a bad situation or have heard of one. I mean, really. What does it take to get people in the churches involved? These humans who do pit bull fights or go to fights have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, grandparents, etc. and who ever hears from them? Why don't they do something about their monster relatives who do this? Geez.


This is why I support the ASPCA. God bless you angels for saving those poor dogs. I definitely won't hesitate to report dog fighting. That is totally unacceptable. My niece had a friend of a friend that posted pictures of his dog after a fight. He was bragging that the other dog looked a lot worse. She forwarded me the post from Facebook. From Dallas, I called the El Paso Police department. Next day he was arrested. So no matter where you are, just report it!


Your neice did a magnificent thing and saved how many other dogs from horror. She deserves huge praise and should be known for the example she set for others.

Iris Barrientos

What sick idiots. They only deserve that done to them . Makes me so sad! :(