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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I can ot still beleive this kind of cruelty , and for what so they can make easy and illegal money. Hopefully that one day this could be over. Congratulations for the good job you are doing!!!


Yes I agree with these comments we need more help more eyes more everything to help our babies.this is so sad and it really makes me more and more isolated from humans because u have to be HEARTLESS to do this period!!!


Sassee - You're not alone even though sometimes you may feel isolated from others... There is a large faction of people who are able, willing & READY to fight for these innocent, sentient creatures! Together, we CAN MAKE the DIFFERENCE!


It is truly appalling to me that humans could ever do this to such a sentient, loyal and loving creature as a dog. It makes me so mad & sad to know there are many more out there who still live ? this sort of life... I struggle to call this any kind of life, because "life" implies enjoyment, and there obviously is none of that for these poorly fated innocents. ASPCA: Thank you for what you do. I support you in every way that I can. It is an ease to my soul that efforts like these are being made by organizations such as yours... If not, this world would be a much darker place. Thank you again for fighting the good fight and being the VOICE for those with no voice.


If you witness abuse, be sure to document, document, document. Have a camera or camera-phone to collect evidence. And be careful! If you speak with the problem humans, don't let them know where you live or retaliation can occur to you, or to your pets when you're not there. If you have another person that can go with you, you also have another witness. Evil relies on good people doing nothing.


Thank you for the wonderful work you do.


The people who run these operations and make money of the torture of these innocent creatures plus those who attend the fights are all scum. Thankfully the rescued animals from these operations will likely never face this horror again. Good Job!!!!

Susan Martin

God has a special place in heaven for those that help animals.....just as Hell has a special place for those who abuse animals.


poor baby they need to treat the people the same way take them out and beat the crap out of them i have no mercy for people that do this to animals hope they pay for what they have done


My heart breaks every time I see pictures like this. I have fostered for years, and I never get use to the stories! I have held dogs while they were dying, just to give them that one minute of a loving touch. My greatest joy of course is that dogs that have made it and gone on to a better life. However, I always grieve for the ones that we lost, because we were to late and I cry for the ones we know are still out there suffering! I encourage everyone to volunteer and if you can foster, for your local shelter or ASPCA. Animals living in situations where they are beaten, starved and neglected, is an everyday reality!! It takes us and you to stand up and fight for their rights! It is easy to leave a comment and look the other way.