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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.

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LINDA

Sadly to say I live less than half a mile from one of the sites involved in the rescue and had no idea that the dogs were there! I heard more dogs than usual barking from the area of the next road over from mine and thought the neighbors had just adopted some new dogs. How horrified I was when I saw the rescue vehicles, law enforcement and ASPCA vans in the driveway of the unlived in house around the corner from my street! There were about 40 dogs there and no one new it. There was an article in the paper a few days later about the arrest of the man who placed the dogs there. I am so glad the dogs are safe now. I have five rescued dogs of my own, one being a pit bull I picked up on the same road about three years ago. He was staggering along the road and was completely emaciated. I thing he had been a bait dog because his teeth were filed down and he had scars on his body. He also had heartworms and heart damage. Three years later he is a happy, healthy dog who takes four medications twice a day for his heart damage but is now heartworm free. Thanks to all those who rescued the dogs. I made a donation for their help and I hope all of you do, too.

Barry

Time to bring back the chain gang. Let's make these animals, and I mean the scum of the earth that make a living off the suffering and torture of these dogs, live a couple of years carrying around their own chains like they did in the 1930's. Let them live in wooden shacks, eat slop, be subject to indecent weather conditions, and generally be treated like garbage. Maybe 3-5 years is enough time. Perhaps a few rounds in the hot box, or the hole. Perhaps a lashing or two, or maybe more. And if they are repeat offenders, just double or triple the same sentence.
They seem perfectly comfortable with exercising inhumane treatment to defenseless and trusting animals. Provide the same type of conditions for anyone caught and convicted. By the way, for those political hacks who feel that dogs don't have any rights, maybe give them a round or two with these scum and let them get some religion.

Mildrey Perez

THANK YOU ASPCA, I WILL ALWAYS HELP YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL JOB YOU DOING WITH THESE LITTLE AND BIG ABUSED ANIMALS. I JUST SENT A DONATION. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

Allison

Thank You all from the bottom my heart . It kills me to see any animals being abused. It's just not fair. I would do any thing ti rescue these adorable animals. If I had a million dollars I would donate it. However since I don't i can Only donate what I can. Thank you to the rescuers that help to give these dogs a second chance.

Love Always Allison Tappan.

Allison

Thank You all from the bottom my heart . It kills me to see any animals being abused. It's just not fair. I would do any thing ti rescue these adorable animals. If I had a million dollars I would donate it. However since I don't i can Only donate what I can. Thank you to the rescuers that help to give these dogs a second chance.

Love Always Allison Tappan.

gerri

I can't wait for the day these people get what is coming to them-what goes around comes around-they are the scum of the earth

Kathy

What I',m concerned about is whether or not these bastards will receive the punishment they deserve or get off with a "slap on the wrist." I donate to ASPCA as well as to a low-cost non-profit spay/neuter organization for which I volunteer.

Lawrie MacMillan

Thank God for your intervention. I hope the perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, a law that rarely goes far enough to prosecute humans for the insufferable cruelty they inflict on these poor dogs.

Toni

I cringe when I read about the horrible abuse and conditions these dogs go through from Puppy Mills to Dog Fighting Rings. I thank god for you (ASPCA) for all that you do. If it weren't for organizations such as yours, our world would be a much sadder place for all these animals. Thank you for all that you do!

JB

I have writen my comments earlier thanking all these people who work so hard and I commented more than just a thank your.

But, I didn't forget the law enforcement agencies and officers who were also involved..most of the time I feel like they look away to often......don't know if this happened because of pressure from people and organizations, or if they asked for help from the HSUS and ASPCA and others....but nonetheless, it got done and maybe we should also thank them.......hopefully more busts will come to follow......There['s a great book called "One Good Dog" about an ex fighter and the human man whom he befriended. Sad, but a great book....

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