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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Any person who commits such atrocities should experience those same atrocities to the degree and length of time he/she put those poor animals through. It seems a just punishment to sentence the perpetrators to the kind of life they subjected their victims; the perpetrators can live in horror with one another.

Paula. Mn

The people responsible for this abuse should go to jail for much longer then a few months. When they are released they should have to do animal service not return to millions of dollars a yr jobs throwing footballs around. I feel sick when I think our youth look up to someone who thought this was a sport.
Maybe these people should be chained and forced to fight to survive...
God bless these little creatures and the ASPCA


i do not know why we cannot chain the animals (human) that do this to these innocent creatures. I have had chows, akitas, and a pit ALONG with cats and never a problem. My two sidekicks right now are two rescued mixed dogs, and 5 cats. I LOVE them so much


These people should be stood in front of a firing squad!


I would expose you says the Lord!
For you are not above the animals, for you breath the same breath and die the same breath!!!


First of all, a HUGE hug and thank you to all those involved in the recent rescue of all the dogs/puppies involved in the multi-state fighting bust. Those words seem thoroughly inadequate, but are sincerely heartfelt. Y'all are angels. Changing the subject a bit, there was a gal who posted earlier that she (I'm paraphrasing) drives around and, upon seeing any type of neglect/cruelty, stops and talks to the owners, reports it, etc. To that gal: I wish we lived in the same city (perhaps we do!) so that we could partner up, b/c I do the exact same thing. Considering how dangerous this is, I always bring a pair of binoculars and use them with EXTREME caution, which helps in not having to get out of the car to see anything "suspicious". I also bring a taser and mace, and I make sure I have a rehearsed excuse if someone starts to look at me curiously. If what I'm doing saves just one animal, then what I'm doing is worth it. I also volunteer at the local shelter, and my husband and I give generously to several animal organizations. To the ASPCA: You are HEROES in every sense of the word.


these people deserve to be dropped off in a shark pit and left to be food. horrible to what they do to these babies , dogs, i have a pit and could never imagine her in such a situation.
thank you for those that rescue these animals. i hope people give to the cause. i donate .


I don't even know why they arrest the lowlifes that do this to animals. Just raid the place at night and shoot them all in the head. Less cost to the taxpayers for court and jail time, and no chance they'll ever do it again.


How does one go about adopting one of these animals? We have room and love to spare, but no knowledge of who to contact. We're in SE kansas.

Jackeline Guerra

I own 2 APBTs and cruelty to any animal is to me a sign of a future if not current wife beater or serial killer in the making. I think the criminals should be treated in the same manner they treated their victims.
A jail should be set up with 5ft radius chain spots in blazing sun, and maybe they will get fed, maybe some water. Dont forget the make shift "dog house" or jail cell should be a metal barrel with hay inside.
I havent put much thought into this at all.......