Any breed of dog can be the victim of illegal animal fighting. Often small breed dogs, and even cats, are used to “bait” larger fighting dogs in order to encourage their fighting drive.
In a dog fight, two dogs are placed in a pit enclosed by plywood walls, where they must fight before a cheering crowd until one dog is too injured or exhausted to continue. The fights may last from several minutes to more than two hours, and the dogs usually suffer painful injuries, including multiple puncture wounds, deep lacerations, and broken bones. Dogs often die from dehydration, blood loss, infection, exhaustion or shock as a result of the fight, and owners may kill the losing dogs by gunshot or other inhumane methods.
In a cock fight, specially bred roosters, called gamecocks, are pitted against each other in small arenas with razor-sharp, three-inch steel blades attached to their legs. There, trained to fight and often drugged with stimulants and steroids, they plunge and slash each other in a deadly duel. The gaffs inflict deep puncture wounds, wings and legs are broken, and eyes are gouged out. A cockfight usually results in the death of one of the birds and sometimes in the death of both.
Impromptu “street fighting” between two dogs in public often involves local gang members, who will encourage their animals to engage in this activity to give themselves status among their peers. The dogs involved in street fighting are often used as “weapons”, making them considerably more dangerous to any individual. These are the dogs most likely to be seen by members of the community.
Here are just a few of the possible warning signs of illegal animal fighting:
A person who instigates, promotes, conducts, is employed at, allows property under his ownership or control to be used for, participates as a spectator at, or profits from an exhibition featuring the fighting of a cock is guilty of a Class I felony. A lease of property that is used or is intended to be used for an exhibition featuring the fighting of a cock is void, and a lessor who knows this use is made or is intended to be made of his property is under a duty to evict the lessee immediately.
If you suspect that animals are being bred, raised, and/or trained for use in fighting exhibitions, don’t ever intervene yourself. People involved in this activity are often quite dangerous, and it’s not uncommon for illegal drugs and guns to be present at animal fights. Please contact:
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