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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carly chichester

People, and I use the term VERY loosely, that perpetuate this vile form of "entertainment," just need to disappear, period. They are vermin of the worst sort, and do not deserve any kind of "humane" consideration themselves, regardless of their circumstances in life. Thank you, members of the rescue community!!

Jennifer Jackson

When I heard about this.....It made me sad for the helpless animals, but with me another side came out......REVENGE. I want these so called humans to PAY DEARLY. If it was up to me.....they would pay. But GOD will deal with them more better than I could ever thought of.


God, I just want to scream when I see this kind of abuse. We need such harsh punishments for these scumbags that do this. Somehow we have to get these laws in place. Thanks for saving these poor defenseless animals and please keep doing what you're doing. We need to bust all these people and send them to prison for years and years!!!!!!!!

Bernadette Douc...

I would so like to see within my lifetime a 50 State Law for the Protection of All Animals domestic and farm. I would love to see Felony Animal Cruelty be used for these type and lesser of the evils and Make It STICK...In addition, I would also love to see, again, in All 50 States a Criminal Animal & Child Abuse Registry, that these Melicious, hell bent deviants of society can be on a 50 State wide registry so that no other animal can be in their possession and once on they would also be limited to, if not excluded from the child's life that they are trying to be in. We Need something in this country that IS Going to WORK...It is a Global problem with animal abuse, it's horrific and I am sure, where you find animal abuse, you will find child abuse to follow and worse...I only hope that Something gets done and Soon, these poor innocent animals are tortured everyday along with child abuse. They need our help to protect them...


I am so very happy for the puppy and so and so grateful for a wonderful organization like this one that saves lives for all animals worldwide...god bless all of you and all god,s animals for they deserve better always!!!!!


Publish the names and photos of those who abused these innocent animals. Sue them financially for the damage they caused. When a court judgment is obtained take/garnish whatever they own to satisfy the debt. Use these funds to pay for more enforcement. Finally, ensure that they are charged criminally for their behavior. Do not allow these monsters to have a moment of peace.


I could not have said it better!


God bless you and all who took part in this rescue. But, tell us what race these criminals are and that will tell you all you need to know.




They should attach those chains to the testicles of the dog's owners.