Illegal dog fighting is prevalent, although to people who are not involved in it, it does not seem so. This is because this underground activity takes place in secret with only people who 'need to know' being informed. The illegal dog fighting community are very careful to protect their own people.
In countries across the world where dog fighting it is not illegal, dog fighting also continues to thrive. The often terrified dogs are forced to fight each other, suffering excruciatingly painful and life threatening injuries.
The loser is often tortured to death, left to die
or killed in one of a variety of cruel ways by the owners, or on order
of the owners, because they 'humiliated' their owner by losing the
This is the second of two pages that explore the horror of dog fighting, and the suffering it means for the dogs involved. For the first page, please click here.
If you choose, you can click on the titles below to go straight to that section of the page.
Michael Vick, the famous US NFL player was famously revealed to be
involved in illegal dog fighting. He carried out the most sickening
cruelty against dogs.
He hanged dogs, watching them flailing and struggling in desperation, choking until they took their last breath, yet he felt nothing. He beat dogs to death, slamming them to the ground with all his strength again and again, shattering their bones as they screamed in agony.
electrocuted them with car batteries and shot them. He drowned them and
felt no compassion or empathy for them as the terrified dogs struggled
and flailed about, trying desperately to gasp for breath.
All this was done to the dogs because they were not considered good, brave or willing enough fighters by the illegal dog fighting community.
Vick stole people's family pets and threw them in with fighting dogs trained to tear them apart. He forced female dogs in to 'rape stands' and smashed out the teeth so they could not injure the male dogs they were forced to mate with to produce more puppies for this life of abuse. He did all this over and over with absolutely no feelings towards any of his canine or human victims.
He was convicted because of his part in illegal dog fighting, but was not charged with much of what he actually admitted to. His punishment was incredibly lenient, considering the level of suffering he caused.
Sickeningly, he was then hired back by the NFL team The Philadelphia Eagles to continue his former life of sporting stardom, privilege and luxury, as if he had never had anything to do with illegal dog fighting. Understandably, this caused an outcry from animal rights advocates, and anyone with an ounce of decency, everywhere.
Below: Dog fighter Michael Vick not looking at all remorseful, but actually looking rather pleased with himself in his mugshot, despite having willingly stolen, tortured, hanged, strangled, electrocuted and drowned dogs that failed to perform well when forced to fight in illegal dog fighting. What he did gained publicity because of his celebrity status, but numerous people do the same to dogs in the illegal dog fighting community every day. The vast majority of illegal dog fighting abuse goes unpunished.
Since being caught and convicted for being involved in illegal dog fighting, Michael Vick has made remarks about not understanding why people reacted with such horror to what he did, and not knowing why some people still go on about it now, as if it's a big deal.
He claims that most people are not bothered about it. At the time he said he didn't think he was doing anything wrong, and what he did while involved in illegal dog fighting still seems to be no big deal to him.
Below: Short video clip of Michael Vick saying he wouldn't change anything about his life apart from shortening the prison sentence he got for torturing & killing numerous dogs, and saying how he is proud of himself - he shows a complete lack of remorse.
Michael Vick is an influential example to young people. It is not a good
example to see him cause such horrific suffering to dogs forced in to
illegal dog fighting and get off so lightly, being able to return to his
former life of wealth and stardom.
If you feel that it is wrong for Michael Vick to have his old life back after his viciously violent and cruel actions to dogs forced in to illegal dog fighting, you can show your feelings by boycotting the NFL, especially the Philadelphia Eagles, and letting them know why. Public pressure works.
Below: Michael Vick illegal dog fighting shame. Despite torturing and killing innocent dogs in horrific ways, he claimed he didn't think he was doing anything wrong and doesn't know why some people still go on about in now, as he claims most people aren't bothered!
People who enjoy dog fighting do not see it as cruel. Neither do they see the dogs involved as victims. They see the dogs as athletes, being trained to be the best they can be.
They believe that the dogs get what they deserve: If they do well, they gain respect and higher status. If they disappoint, they have to pay the price for humiliating their owners, trainers and backers, and for causing them to lose status.
The price' is being tortured and / or cruelly killed, or abandoned to die of their terrible injuries. Their attitude is that there is no place for such dogs in dog fighting.
People gamble on a dog to win a fight. Winning dogs are worth a lot of money and people pay high prices to breed off them. There can be a high amount of prize money for the owners of dogs that win fights - up to $100,000.
Owners of dogs that do well can also make money from their training skills and from "consultancy" work. The owners are willing to see their dogs put through agony and ripped apart, all so they can make money.
Below: Dog fighters are happy for their dogs to suffer injuries including wounds such as this in an attempt to gain money and status.
Below: The mouth of this dog has been shredded and the it's ribs are visible through a large hole ripped in it's side after being forced in to fighting dogs. Despite it's obvious pain, it still wanted to give kisses to the people who saved it.
Dog fighters, or dog men and women, are known to hack off the ears of dogs and puppies, with regular office scissors and no anaesthetic or pain killers.
They believe the dog having no ears for opponents to grab gives their dog an advantage in dog fights. They care nothing for the pain they put the dogs through, or about the infection, etc, that may cause the dog and slow and painful death.
Below: A dog who has had its ears cut off as it is intended to be used for illegal dog fighting. This picture shows the ear area healed after treatment.
Trunking is a form of illegal dog fighting where a dog is forced to fight for survival against another dog trapped in a closed, dark car boot/trunk while the vehicle is moving.
To drown out the blood curdling noises of agony, loud music is played, unless the car is in a secluded area where there is no need. The losing dead or dying dog is simply thrown on to the side of the road like a piece of rubbish.
Below: The losing dog in the trunking form of illegal dog fighting is thrown away to die, if not already dead.
'I ASKED HOW MANY CHILDREN HAD WITNESSED DOG FIGHTS, EVERY HAND IN THE ROOM WENT UP'.
By Sergeant Steve Brownstein of the Chicago Police Department:
"I have been a Chicago Police Officer for over 13 years, mostly in high crime areas. Over the last decade, an increasing number of gang members nationwide have turned to illegal dog fighting.
Although dog fighting is a felony here in in Illinois, it is done with disturbing frequency. This practice is not only cruel to dogs, it's harmful for children. Recently, when I spoke before a group of fifth and sixth graders and asked how many children had witnessed dog fights, every hand in the room went up.
Dog fighting is a bloody, gruesome spectacle in which one animal tears the other apart.
When dogs lose fights, owners who are angry about losing money on them often throw their animals into garbage dumps or put them into vacant apartments to die slow, agonizing deaths from infection, starvation, or dehydration.
I have recovered many such dogs, still alive, in varying states of mutilation. I have seen a Rottweiler mix breed with the skin of her face torn off; a pit bull puppy whose stomach was ripped open, a shepherd mix breed whose penis was shreds, and corpses of dogs who were burned alive for losing fights.
Children emulate the violence. I have had to stop children trying to make dogs fight, and I know of a group that swung a puppy around by a rope, snapping its neck.
One fifth grader, describing to me in graphic detail a pit bull fight to which his uncle took him, told me that when the terrified losing dog urinated and defecated upon itself before it died, he was the only one in the crowd who did not explode with laughter."
Below: Injured, suffering and unloved: "Please take me away from the dog fighters and just love me".
There are many cruel acts of terrible animal abuse carried out by children, many of which are influenced by the culture of dog fighting.
The lack of respect and compassion for animals that is so clear in dog
fighting is evident in the many senseless attacks made on innocent
animals by children. The following is just one typical example of many:
Three teenagers stole a 6-month-old pet dog and set it on fire, after forcing it to fight another dog. Firefighters found the dog at about 7 p.m. on Sunday night after responding to a grass fire. The dog died shortly after being brought to the veterinarian.
Below is an article, written in the own words of dog fighters, talking about the death of their best dog, Jolene:
"She was so physically busted up that it was necessary to take the kennel crate apart to get her out of it. Sadie had destroyed her face so badly that her sinuses were crushed, her whole face was pulsing up and down as she breathed and air was bubbling out of the holes on her muzzle and around her eyes.
The last thing Jolene did before loosing consciousness entirely was thrown up an incredible amount of blood."
- The Complete Gamedog by Ed and Chris Faron.
These dog fighters went on to say how good at fighting and destroying other dogs Jolene was, and because of that, they were sorry to see her go.
In between being forced to fight, the dogs are normally kept in
unsanitary, cold, lonely conditions, such as in basements or isolated
locations. They receive no human love or affection and are never seen in
public if they show evidence of illegal dog fighting injuries.
They are left in these terrible living conditions with broken bones, suffering with painful wounds highly prone to infection, without any veterinary care. Some die from their injuries in prolonged agony.
The dogs that earn the owners most money may be cruelly treated by the owners themselves, who have no veterinary training, and certainly use no anesthetic. These people do not care about their animals, they care about money and status.
Below: This dog froze to death in the cage it where it lived between fights, in cold, damp premises. Many dogs who are unfortunate enough to end up in the fighting underworld live like this, without any love or affection.
Below: The filthy, uncomfortable conditions dogs commonly live in between fights, along with their painful injuries. Each dog is also typically locked in to a small cage/crate.
In many countries, including the UK and many parts of the US, sentences given for illegal dog fighting are incredibly light and do not reflect the suffering of the animal at all.
In many states in the US, dog fighting is not even a felony. In some countries, and areas of other countries, it is not banned at all. Whether banned or not, it can be extremely prevalent.
Below: Dog punished by having it's head nearly split in half by an axe, destroying and blinding it's right eye. If the perpetrator is found they will face a light sentence, if any at all.
Below: Pit Bull horrifyingly neglected and starved, with
maggots eating her decomposing, rotting skin. She is too weak to move
and is now blind and deaf. She moaned with agony when rescuers gently
tried to move her. The chain around her neck weighed more than her
entire body. She had to be put out of her misery.
Do you think it is acceptable that the person who put this dog through this unimaginable suffering may get a lenient sentence if caught, or no punishment at all?
If you would like to see dog fighting made illegal everywhere, and sentences made much tougher, or if you would like to help stop other aspects of animal cruelty and suffering, please go to the Help Stop Animal Cruelty and Suffering section of this website.
There you will find ways you can help make this happen by lobbying governments and influential people, campaigning, petition signing, ideas for raising money for anti dog-fighting organisations, as well as other ways to help.
Only taking action changes things for animals, so turn your outrage into action!
Although one person cannot do everything, so many people are sickened by this cruelty that if each one does a little, a lot can be achieved.
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