ASPCA Poll Reveals Dogfighting Goes Unrecognized, Underreported in NYC Despite More than 100 Alleged Victims Rescued Last Year Alone

ASPCA and NYPD release video urging NYC residents to report suspected dogfighting activity
April 17, 2018

New York—As part of a month-long campaign to raise awareness about dogfighting, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today released the results of a poll measuring the gap between New York City residents’ awareness and understanding of dogfighting and its actual prevalence in the New York City area. The poll findings exposed that many people do not realize how common dogfighting truly is, may not be able to recognize the signs, and are not properly reporting this activity when it’s suspected. In coordination with the release of the poll results, the ASPCA and NYPD today shared a video urging the public to report suspected dogfighting activity. The video is part of a joint social media campaign aimed at encouraging New Yorkers to report animal cruelty throughout the city’s five boroughs.

The poll, which was conducted in March 2018 by Edge Research, found that:

  • While the majority of those polled say they would take some kind of action if they suspected dogfighting, fewer than a quarter (24 percent) are very confident they would recognize the signs of dogfighting if they saw them in their community
  • Around 14 percent of New Yorkers polled have ever suspected that dogfighting was happening in their community – higher than the national response of 8 percent
  • Yet less than half (47 percent) of those New Yorkers reported it to local authorities. Eleven percent did nothing at all.

“Through our extensive work with law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD, we know that organized dogfighting is taking place in every type of community across the country, causing unimaginable pain and suffering for the animals involved,” said Stacy Wolf, senior vice president of ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group. “By familiarizing yourself with the signs of dogfighting and committing to reporting this type of activity, you are helping us save the lives of these voiceless victims and making New York City a safer place for animals and humans alike.”

ASPCA experts estimate that there are tens of thousands of dog fighters across the country forcing hundreds of thousands of dogs to brutally train, fight, and suffer as part of a so-called “blood sport”. Since the launch of the ASPCA’s partnership with the NYPD in 2014, more than 200 victims of dogfighting have been rescued in the New York City area.

The ASPCA’s month-long “Break the Chain” campaign was established to raise awareness about the prevalence of dogfighting in the United States, reveal little-known truths about the blood sport, and encourage animal lovers nationwide to act against this brutal form of animal cruelty. The ASPCA continues to tackle the illegal underground world of dogfighting rings through investigations, law enforcement training, legislation, advocacy and rehabilitation of dogs seized during dogfighting raids. To learn more about the signs of dogfighting and what you can do to help, visit