Jamie and Me. Pits are lovers, not fighters!! Read on…
I’m taking a break from my normal blogging activity to to follow up on the “BSL” post, and talk about dog fighting. What it is, and why it is such a bad thing. I have cobbled the information together from various sources (not a term paper, so please, no footnotes)! I hope that if you see a dog neglected or abused, that you will report it or in some way, intervene. You could be saving that dog from dog fighting or being “bait”. There is no humane dog fighting.
Dog fighting is called a “blood sport”. In blood sports, animals are used as “bait” and the participants in this sport usually fight to death. Dog fighting may date back to the time that dogs were first domesticated. Dogs would be bred for specific physical characteristics, and dogs unable or unwilling to fight would be used as “bait”. An inherently cruel practice, “bait” dogs would have their jaws forcibly shut and secured, and their nails clipped off or filed down so that they could not defend themselves when attacked. Small, weak dogs, kittens, and rabbits are often used as “bait” animals even today.
“Street” dog fighters train their dogs to fight by abuse and starvation of the animal. Often, they combine the use of drugs, such as cocaine, with torture, to increase aggressiveness in a dog. Many of these owners have the impression that to make a dog “tough”, it must suffer. These exploited dogs have a life of misery.
Animal Welfare people and animal activists feel that dog fighting is one of the most serious forms of animal abuse there is. This is due in part to the horrific “training” a dog must endure, but also from the pre-and-post game violence the dog is subjected to. Dogs are forced to fight, often prodded in the arena by being poked with sharp objects, until one dog surrenders or is dead. The wounded animals are usually abandoned, alone and frightened, to die from their injuries and shock.
In the United States, the crime of dog fighting is a felony offense country-wide. Merely attending a dog fight, even if one does not actively wager, is illegal. However, there remains more than one hundred thousand people involved in this “sport”. American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and the Latin American Dogo Argentino, are common breeds which are fought to the death; but this is just a sampling of dogs forced to fight.
At dog fights, the dogs maul each other to death in areas where escape is impossible, while spectators watch and place bets. Shockingly, many children attend dog fights with their adult companions, and thus are desensitized to violence, especially against animals. This is disturbing on many levels, particularly because it has been well-documented that persons who abuse animals go on to abuse people later in life.
Dog fighting has been linked to other criminal activity. Dog fighting, however, is often difficult to prove unless the individuals involved are caught in the act. Unfortunately, despite the laws that are in place, dog fighting continues in the United States and in the rest of the world. Dog fighting has a direct link to dog attacks; and in response to this, Legislators have enacted laws restricting or banning certain breeds of dogs. Many suspected “vicious breeds” are shot by police, or, if picked up on the street, euthanized. Sadly, BSL (Breed Selective Legislation) is ineffective against dog attacks or bites and is discriminatory and unfair.
As a dog classified as a Pitbull, I cannot adequately express how all this makes me feel. To know that people entrusted with our care will turn a trusting, loving dog into a killing machine through pain, fear, neglect, starvation, and the like is beyond my comprehension. To know that other people pass laws to kill these canine victims of abuse after they have been discarded is even worse, and saddens me even further. Frankly, Pitbull bites are in the news while other dog bites and attacks go unreported and unremarked upon. This over-sensationalism by the media makes my breed and others like me look bad. People are prejudiced against us and fear us.
No dog I know wants to be involved in dog fighting. I’m not saying that there aren’t varieties of temperaments amongst litter-mates, and like humans, different dogs have different personality traits. But no breed of dog is born evil or vicious.
Dogs are what humans make them to be.