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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 aspcarescue.org 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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Joann Jette

what are you doing Ann Marie?

DAVE G

I agree, the ASPCA needs help stopping these people! the laws need to be more "hardcore" on these dog fighting inhuman people. even on football players. these dog fighting owners, trainers, and handlers all need time too think about what they are doings too these dogs. how about 20 years in a state owned jail? dog fighting needs to stop now. today. I would love to join the ASPCA as well, become a employee, help fight this, but we doing not have a ASPCA where I am at as well.

RANDALL

THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE LOWER THAN THE SCUM THEY SCRAPE OFF A SEWER TANK SHOULD BE TIED DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF A DIRT RING, AND THEIR DOG VICTIMS BE ALLOWED TO MAUL THEM FOR SEVERAL HOURS;THEN TRANSPORT THEM IN HEAVY CHAINS TO THE EVERGLADES TO CLEAN OUT THE SWAMPS AND BE BITTEN TO HELL BY MOSQUITOS FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS!!! IF AN ALLIGATOR FINDS THEM BEFORE THAT, TREAT THEM AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES AND GIVE 'EM A FREE LUNCH!

Lawanna

I agree with you Randall. I've always said those a** H**** need the worst kind of torture there is. I prefer to hang them over a CHIPPER and slowly dip them in and out. They will meet their fate on their judgement day by GOD and I hope there is NO MERCY for them.

Laura

I second that !!

Laura

Couldn't have said it better myself!

faith

YES

Maria

AMEN!

Eve

Leah,
I agree with you one hundred percent. We have two Pitbulls (11 y.o. female and 4 y.o. male) that my son rescued from abusive situations. Both are the most loving and loyal animals you could hope to own. These abusive owners should be treated the way they treated these innocent animals.

Chris Steptoe

Please remember probably 85% of these " cute, adorable dogs and puppies" have already been trained to be brutal fighters and will not be able to be rehabilitated. This means a majority of these "sweet" animals will have to be put down. That is the real crime. Why can't we server the same punishment on the people who did this to these dogs?

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