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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Colette Ceuterick

Bless all of you for all the great work you do to save the lives of all these innocent dogs & puppies. It breaks my heart to read all of this but then tears of joy to see the great outcomes.


This is absolutely awsome, thank you thank you for giving this adorable little one a second chance. It is just to bad that we cannot do that for everyone, but, unfortanely, there are two many, WHCICH SHOULD NOT BE. He will have a loving family, and long life. bow wow to you little honey bun.

Allison Rock

Thank God for you...


I am glad you are doing something, but as always the story goes 'See how great we are, now give us some money" I suspect you are much like Best Freinds who gets millions each year and has an offshore account. Is that what you do with our money Ed?

carson blastenbrie



I just will never understand intentional cruelty against any animal or person. Especially domestic animals that are here just to be our companions. It makes me sick.


By the way, Pits are great dogs. It is sad the the general public feels they are such vicious animals and the media puts such stories in a large spotlight over and over. No one ever talks about other breeds that bite that are in the top ten list like: Dachshunds or Chihuahuas. If greedy & selfish people breed the beautiful Pitbull to be nothing more than a blood thirsty fight to the death type of dog, I fear, over time, it may lead to extinction. The fear of the public and the inbreeding of these type of characteristics will be unwelcomed in every community. It is a very somber thought.


I cried happy tears for this puppy and sad tears for the ones who can't be saved - then I made a donation. Thank you for rescuing these beautiful dogs....


when I have any left over money...or even if I don' goes to help animals. really. there are ugly, horrible, wretched people out there. we as great humans, have to stop those who aren't. animals NEED us. if I'm not front and center..let my compassion and money do my talking! kudos to aspca and everyone there!

Eileen Kulp

Look closely at the eyes, and you can see the transformation!! A little love and kindness can go a long way. He has such a cute face, I could kiss him!!! I hope and pray that he gets a GOOD home with lots of love and spoiling!!!