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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I am a guardian for this organization and so happy to see this little man along with others are now free from this barbaric lifestyle. I will be a lifetime supporter because of the awesome things the ASPCA does. Thank you all...... :)


i live in abilene, tx. and our aspca will have nothing to do with pitbulls. they will not rescue to save, they just hand it over to the pound and you can guess what happens then. my daughter tries to retrieve any pits before the are "humanely" euthanized.

Barbi rocket qu...

My favorite dogs!!!! Help please everyone! I hate how they are treated and I wish I could make Chinese fur farmers and people who eat dog and to true any animal go thru exactly the same treatment they force on the animal...if you beat a dog and chain em, we get to beat and chain you, that's how I feel I am SO Sick of weak ass laws, the people that do this shit don't understand turning a new leaf, they are what they are and they see animals as trash so I see them as trash...I want tougher punishment on this sick sick practice....Use human fighters, they can say no if they don't want to and it's legal, people please help write new LAWS to Take the DOG FiGhteR RiNgS out of business or just give em death row ,....that's what they did to millions of pits... Please donate to help these beautiful sensitive mislabeled loyal loving dogs....there Are No Bad Dogs...Just Bad Owners!!!!!!!!donate donate donate!

Greg Smith

If you're an animal lover I sincerely hope you'll check my site out, especially the page detailing my new book. I'm trying to establish a strong fan base of fellow animal lovers so I hope you will like my book and spread the word among ALL your contacts and friends. It is my intention to donate at least 50% of my royalties to the ASPCA and other groups to help them in their ongoing battle against the blood sport of dogfighting. Join me?


I hope you will check it out for yourself and mention it to all your friends. It will be available on in 5 days but you can get it now on CreateSpace!

Thanks for your help.



I just can't believe someone would so this. Dog fighting is horrible. Ow can people enjoy watching something being killed by its own kind? If you ask me they should chain up the people who did this. Make them drag around heavy weights. For just one day at least.

Suelyn Crisp

God bless you everyone!

Chance Ross

I don't get why people abuse these poor and innocent animals. What did these animals do to deserve all this. The people who do this should go through what they did to these animals.


those kind of people make me sick. this kind of disgusting behavior is indicative of a criminal and vicious
mind. thank you for rescuing these poor babies.