Animal fighting has existed across the globe in many forms for centuries. Unfortunately, this callous and brutal form of entertainment still plagues the United States in modern times. Today, animal fighting in the United States centers around dogs, roosters, and in some cases, pigs.
Dog Fighting Facts
- Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Attending an animal fighting event is a felony in every state in the U.S.
- Dog fighting generally occurs in one of two forms: pit fighting and street fighting.
- Organized dog fighting or “pit fighting” places two dogs in an area from which they cannot escape. The fight ends when one dog is dead or can no longer continue the fight. Organized dog fighting operations use electric shock, treadmills, and other equipment to condition dogs for combat. Organized dog fights often occur in tandem with drug trafficking and racketeering.
- Street fighting is a more informal form of pit fighting. Street fighting may occur in an empty parking lot or alleyway. Fights may occur spontaneously.
- Today in the United States, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the most commonly exploited breed in dog fighting operations. Dogs entrapped in fighting operations may have over-developed muscle mass (as a result of being tied to a treadmill) and closely cropped ears to prevent ears from being ripped off in a fight. These dogs may also display heavy scarring.
- Dog fighting occurs in every state in the United States, in both rural and urban settings.
- Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states, and is a felony in most states.
- Cockfighting is a forced fight between two roosters who are bred and conditioned to fight. Sharp gaffes are tied to the roosters’ legs and the two birds slash and peck each other until one is dead or unable to continue.
- Cockfighting is closely tied to illegal gambling.
- Roosters in cockfighting suffer gauged eyes, punctured lungs, torn flesh, and slow, painful deaths.
- Cockfights occur throughout the United States and in many other countries.
Hog-Dog Fighting Facts
- Hog-dog fighting is also known as “hog-dog rodeo” or “hog-dogging.”
- Hog-dog fighting is illegal in some states, but enforcement of the state laws are lacking in some areas.
- In a hog-dog fight, one or more dogs is goaded to fight a wild boar or pig. Often the tusks are cut from the hog to offer the dog the advantage.
- Dogs, often Pit Bull Terriers and Catahoulas, are released to tear the ears and snout of the trapped pig, who has no chance of escape.
- In some cases, a single pig may be subjected to several before at last being allowed to die.
- Dogs bred for hog-dog fights may also suffer deplorable living conditions and serious injury.
- The owner of the fastest attacking dog is rewarded with cash and prizes. Like other forms of animal fighting, betting occurs at hog-dog fights.
- Hog-dog fighting mainly occurs in the southern United States.
What You Can Do To Combat Animal Fighting
- If you suspect animal fighting, contact local law enforcement as soon as possible.
- Support legislation in your state that places stricter penalties on animal fighting.
- Do not attend entertainment events that combine animals with gambling activity.