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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 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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al of you are right on some counts. it takes a village to raise a child (I am a teacher and a pet owner), so it also takes a village to save an animal. together, we are stronger than any of these monsters who so abuse their pets. UNITE! FIGHT! SPEAK UP!!!!


so glad the puppy has been saved lets hope all the others have to.

maddie and d

we need to help you people

maddie and d

we need to help you people

jo-ann engelson

I believe this puppy in the blog is rescued and trained to love now..


Really need to chop their hands off!!!! Cause when they get out these BRAINLESS ASSHOLES!!!!! They will repeat the their ABUSE


I live in Indiana as well and we have the Humane Society and in their own right has earned a respected role in the help and rescue of a large number of neglected or abused animals and they are always accepting new volunteers!


Laila - May God bless you for your care for these poor souls. PLEASE STAY SAFE!


Well done Laila!!! I lived in an apt. complex that had wild cats around and sometimes people leave there cat behind. This is not acceptable for me so I took the cats in one by one and found 11 cats good homes and kept one.


You know I hate what is done to these poor animals. I have seen it many times. But, the laws should be heavier than they are. They should have to be treated as they treat dogs or cats. I have had my share of baby's. !3 yrs. ago I finally got my first Ferret. What people do to these sweet cute baby's is a true sin. They have been abused and mistreated. I have had 6 baby's since 1999. There are no true shelters for these baby's only the kindness of ferret moms and their vol. and ferret people who try to help. Yes they are exotic baby's but, they are so sweet and they are smarter than dogs or cats. Something more needs to be done to stop these ignorant and cruel people from hurting no matter what of Gods animals from being hurt. Thanks for stopping another bunch of dog fighting gang.