Saturday, 10 April 2010

Dogfighting: underground business

Dogfighting occurs in closed-in pits generally surrounded by plywood or a cage-like material. A fight begins when two dogs (or more) that have been conditioned and trained to fight are put into the pit together.
The dogfight ends when one dog can no longer continue or when the owner of the dog throws in the towel as a sign of defeat. This often lasts around an hour, though it can go on for far longer. Gambling, betting and spectators are present during mainly illegal dog fighting.


Dogfighting has been documented in the recorded history of many different cultures, and is presumed to have existed since the initial domestication of the species. Many breeds have been bred specifically for the strength, attitude, and physical features that would make them better fighting dogs.

Blood sports involving the baiting of animals has occurred since antiquity, most famously at the Colosseum in Rome during the reign of the Roman Empire. However, in contemporary times, it is most associated with the English, who pursued it with utmost earnestness, which was barely known elsewhere in the world. For over six hundred years the pastime flourished, reaching the peak of its popularity during the sixteenth century. The various animal types involved in the bait allowed for the breed specialization and basic anatomical forms of fighting dogs, which we see today. Common breeds used in fights are: Bull terrier, Dogo argentino, Presa Canario, Fila Brasileiro and famous for its aggressiveness American Pit Bull Terrier.

Dogfighting has been popular in many countries throughout history and continues to be practiced both legally and illegally around the world.

Dogfighting nowadays

In USA dogfighting is a booming business. Even though it's illegal, an estimated 40,000 people, attracted to fight purses as high as $100,000, are involved in professional dogfighting. Experts speculate that there could be as many as 100,000 additional people involved in "streetfighting"- informal dogfighting, often involving young people in gangs. A bill signed by President Bush in May 2007 made the federal law against dogfighting tougher, by strengthening penalties to felony level. The law bans interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities. Violators can now be sentenced to three years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Previously the maximum sentence was a year in jail. Nevertheless, the nightmare of dogfighting is growing, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Australia is another country where dogfighting is forbidden. It is also illegal to possess any fighting equipment designed for dog fighting. Despite this, there are many dog fighting rings in Australia which are often associated with gambling activities and other illegal practices such as drug dealing and firearms. The illegal nature of dogfighting in Australia means that injured dogs rarely get veterinary treatment placing the dog' s health and welfare at even greater risk. "Restricted Breed Dogs" cannot be imported into Australia. The Pit Bull Terrier and the Perro de Presa Canario are the only breeds currently known to exist in Australia and there are strict regulations on keeping these breeds, including a prohibition on transferring ownership.

There is completely different attitiude to dogfighting in Japan. Under modern rules, dogs fight in a fenced ring until one of the dogs barks, yelps, or loses the will to fight. Owners are allowed to throw in the towel, and matches are stopped if a doctor judges it is too dangerous. Draws usually occur when both dogs won't fight or both dogs fight until the time limit. Champion dogs are called vokozuna, as in sumo. Dogfighting is not banned in Japan, except in the capital Tokyo and a few other cities. Dogfighting does not have strong links to gambling in Japan.

The damage caused by illegal dogfighting
Dogs suffer greatly from the injuries inflicted by illegal dog fighting, not to mention the abusive training associated with it. Injuries from illegal dog fighting are often fatal, though the dog may suffer for days after the fight before actually dying. Common afflictions after illegal dog fighting include:
  • blood loss
  • dehydration
  • exhaustion
  • infection
  • shock.

Many owners also brutally treat or kill dogs that lose illegal dogfights. Reports have been made of dogs being:

  • drowned
  • electrocuted
  • hung
  • shot
  • strangled.

Illegal dogfighting has negative effects on other animals as well. During training for illegal dog fighting, owners often use "bait animals" to train their dogs to fight. These animals are essentially sacrificed to the fighting dog. Bait animals can include:

  • cats
  • rabbits
  • smaller dogs or other small animals.
What's more, dogs that have been mistreated and trained for illegal dogfighting must be put to sleep if they are found or end up in an animal shelter. Because of how they have been treated, they will always act far too aggressive towards both animals and humans, making it unfeasible for them to ever be pets.
In some cases, illegal dogfighting can also put people at risk of serious injury or death. If dogs that have been trained to fight get loose, they may attack people, other animals and even small children.

Info and photos taken from:

What do you think about dogfighting? Should it be legal as in Japan or forbidden? If you're against, how would you react to prevent those events from happening?


  1. In my opinion fights of dogs or other animals are the most horrible thing people are doing which towards animals. Things of this type wogole should be illegal, without exceptions. I think that the tragedy of this situation is all the greater, that these animals are fighting not for pleasure but in order to live. I don't understand how it is possible to delighted oneself from the cruelty and what they people can derive from it happy.

  2. I totally agree. People are far too cruel towards animals and completely careless - the dogs fighting is the best example of it. It should be fobridden. I think, that this question and other examples of breaking animals rights need to be seen as something really bad and serious - I'm afraid, that now it isn't, people seem to look at this fact as at one of minor problems. Maybe some big campaign against dogs fighting and not only (in TV, press, via Internet etc.) would be effective?

  3. I also agree that dogfighting should be banned. The probelm is that in most countries it is and despite that there are thousands fights of dogs. I think that sometimes police and other services know about that and they don't act. It's big problem. I'm sure that one of good ways to prevent that situation is to fight with mafia, gambling etc because these are strongly connected with dogfighting.

  4. It's absolutely horrible that some people do such things. I can't imagine how anyone can be so cruel and stupid. Each creature has some feelings, we can deny that they have emotions but for sure they feel physical pain and that's enough o reason for not letting them die in such way. Animal (not only dog) fighting should be banned. The ownersf these poor creatures should spend rest of their lifes in prisons, animals just can't defend themselves so we HAVE TO protect them...

  5. I think dogfighting is atrocious and appalling, and I can’t understand how anyone can find pleasure in watching animals suffer and injure themselves. In my opinion it should most definitely be illegal in all countries. It only promotes violence and encourages aggression and brutality not only in animals but also amongst people.
    People should oppose to such cruelty. Animals don’t have a voice of their own and can’t speak for themselves, therefore it should be humans responsibility to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

  6. I strongly agree with opinions above. I can’t imagine why so many people want to watch such a cruel show as a dog fight. Animals are treated as unfeeling objects. But as living creatures they can suffer as well as humans do.
    Dog fighting become a money making sport, it's producing large profits for participants. For me it’s hideous that people used animals with premeditation in such a cruel way, just for earn some money . It's obvious that those procedures should be treated as a felony offense.

  7. I'm also against this cruel and inhumane events! People who are doing it are heartless. It is even hard to believe it. They make a profit on vulnerable creatures' pain! But I think it is a kind of taboo (because it's connected with money, I think), and I share Anna's opinion that the campaign against animals fighting should be launched.

  8. I agree with all of you. Organizing dogfights should be punish as abuse animals. However, the worst thing side of dogfight is their commercial character. People who take part in this cruel business earn lot of money.But interesting thing is that people have watched animals fight and have derived pleasure from it since ages. For example gladiators fights, or traditional fight with bull in Spain.

  9. I think that dogfights should be forbidden. We should treated animals as conscious living being. We can not organize such fighting, becouse we are torturing them and they suffer pain.

  10. I agree that dogfighting should be banned. I can’t imagine how one can be so soulless watch suffering animals! What is more, making profits at this seems to me cruel. to I agree with Judyta and Anna that one way to prevent those event is campaign protecting animals.

  11. I'm also against dogfighting but i don't think that campaign will change anything here. It's like drugs - you can try to fight it but odds are not high for your success. First of all we should educate children about violence and other stuff to achieve proper results

  12. It's cruel how people treat animals, but i agree with opinion that campaign won't change too much. This kind of ''sport'' is popular in poor countries with great number of unemployment. It is a whole industry probably support by mafia and people make money on it. And now how European fundation will explain those people that their behavior is unacceptable? We should fight with poverty and illiracy and then situation could get better.

  13. For me it's just astonishing how tremendously horrible can be people’s behavior towards defenseless animals. I find very offensive for human kind and it's intelligence to perform this kind of cruelty. Really, even in poor countries entertainment can't be accomplished with scarifying other living beings- it is a severe and immoral crime, banned in civilized world and should stay that way, not to mention other connected with it. So I think that authorities should chase dogfighting intensively as it may be track to other delinquencies.

  14. It is one of the worst thing in our word! In my opinion they should be banned in all the word. Why people do it? Dogs are living beings and people who do that haven't any feelings. It is cruel, awful and disgusting.

  15. It's an awful thing. I don't understand the people who like it-for them it's like an's really cruel..i think it should be forbidden.