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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Shouldn't the wasteful sub-humans who ran this operation be executed on the spot instead of being arrested? It would be a much better decision than let them take precious space on earth and now taxpayers money to deal with their prosecution? The world would not be short of this loss.

Laura Schiller

I would love to know once these puppies are ready for adoption! I would love to give one a forever home!!


This is so heartbreaking that I can not understand why the perpetrators of this abuse are allowed to go on without a sufficient punishment. When will we as American Taxpayers wake up and realize that we are THE GOVERNMENT, and our Judges and Officials are supposed to be acting in our interest, not a Dog Fighters!!!
Our laws need changing so that any American can understand them, and not allow Lawyers hide their meaning and crucial evidence from jurors. We all need to wake up and not just be satisfied with voting a few times, and then just letting our elected officials do what ever they want with our Justice System. PUT THESE USELESS EXCUSES FOR HUMAN BEINGS IN JAIL FOR A VERY LONG TIME, AND ASLO THOSE WHO GET OFF ON WATCHING INNOCENT DOGS BE TORTURED, AND SUFFER THIER WHOLE LIVES. THESE PEOPLE ARE A DANGER TO ALL OF SOCIETY, AND OUR CHILDREN! THIS IS ILLEGAL GAMBLING, AND THE LAST TIME I LOOKED, IT IS ILLEGAL.

Matt Sawyer

Is there a timeline for when some of the dogs will be available for adoption?

Jittoku Boaz

The problem now is the ASPCA MURDERS Pit Bulls. Why would I give MONEY to an Organization that says to loves DOGS but really only loves CERTAIN dogs NOT PIT BULLS. The Houston ASPCA KILLS ALL PITS INCLUDING PUPPIES. Do not give MONEY to an Organization that KILLS PIT BULLS.


So do I get this right: It's much better to let them suffer and do nothing about these horrible crimes against pit bulls? You don't make much sense. What have you personally done to stop dog fighting rings? Thank God there are many good people supporting organizations such as the ASPCA !


I live in Atlanta GA and I'm iinterested in adopting one of these dogs that were rescued. I heard there was a large bust I the Valdosta GA area. Can anyone give me an info on where these dogs are from te bust?

Celeste Young


John Rowan

Simple and nothing more to say...GOD BLESS THE ASPCA!!!

Ricki Butler

When my 9 dogs are gone and they are very old, I believe it will be the ASPCA that I will be donating to after checking to make sure all the money donated goes to the rescue and care of dogs. I am thankful for the rescue of the fighting dogs, but do the people involved get prosecuted?????????