Fights between two or more animals have always been popular spectacles. Dog fighting is one of the most in-humane types of animal cruelty out there today; unfortunately pit bulls have been caught in the wrath of it all. Dog fighting is an animal abuse issue. Pit Bulls happen to be the breed most used in dog fights. But if Pit Bulls did not exist, dog fighting would still take place. There is no quenching the blood lust of human ‘kind’.
Brutality against animals in the form of staged matches or fights between animals or even between man and animal is an activity almost as old as man himself – it was in existence long before the Pit Bull. History The original, old-time bulldog was used for all manner of stock-related work, particularly as a catch dog: used by the butcher to manage unruly bulls, and by the hunter for help in catching and holding wild boar and other game. The sport of bull baiting became popular in England, having arisen from these functional jobs that the bulldog performed for humans.
The modern bulldog breeds descended from these dogs and those re-created through breeding programs include: alapaha blue blood bulldog, American bulldog, aussie bulldog, banter bulldogge, English Bulldog, French bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, Olde Boston Bulldogge, and Victorian Bulldog. All of these breeds have kept close to the original type and traits of the ancient bulldogs, even when adapting to their local living conditions (Luca, 2010).
Pit Bulls are descendants of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. “Bulldogs” were bred to hang on without releasing their grip, until the animal was exhausted from fighting and from loss of blood. When baiting large animals was banned in the 1800s, people then started to fight their dogs against each other instead (ASPCA, 2013). Treatment. With fighting Pit Bulls, they are raised in an environment that reinforces and maintains fighting behavior.
All fighting dogs are conditioned from a very early age to develop what dog-fighters refer to as “gameness. ” The scope and method of training varies dramatically depending on the level and experience of the dog-fighter. Dogs are run on the treadmills to increase cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Dogs are put on a manmade machine is called a cat mill or jenny also. Jenny: Apparatus that looks like a carnival horse walker with several beams jetting out from a central rotating pole.
The dogs are chained to one beam and another small animal like a cat, small dog, or rabbit, is harnessed to or hung from another beam. The dogs run in circles, chasing the bait. Once the exercise sessions are over, the dogs are usually rewarded with the bait they had been pursuing (Gibson, 2005). People that so called train pit pulls for fighting will also have a spring hanging down from a pole to which a rope, tire, or animal hide is affixed that the dogs jump to and dangle from for extended periods of time.
This strengthens the jaw muscles and back legs. The same effect is achieved with a simpler spring loaded apparatus hanging from tree limbs. A variation of the spring pole is a hanging cage, into which bait animals are placed. The dogs repeatedly lunge up toward the cage (Gibson, 2005). Granted these people think they are real dog trainers, they will take care of the dog’s health to a certain extent. Dogs are given vitamins, supplements and drugs to condition them for or to incite them to fight.
Commonly utilized vitamins, supplements, and drugs include: iron/liver extract; vitamin B-12; Magnum supplement; hormones; weight-gain supplements; speed; steroids and cocaine. The dogs are trained against one another and against older, more experienced dogs. In the early stages of training, the dogs are incited to lunge at each other without touching and engage in quick, controlled fights called “rolls” or “bumps. ” Once the dogs appear match ready, they are pitted against stronger dogs to test their “gameness” or tenacity in the face of exhaustion and impending defeat.
If the dogs pass the test, they are deemed ready to fight. Types of Dog Fights All across the country, humans abuse dogs in heinous ways. From nonchalant, impromptu ‘street fights’ to the large-scale organized matches held on a regular schedule at set locations, dog fighting still occurs every day. Most law enforcement experts divide dog fight activity into three categories: street fighting, hobbyist fighting and professional activity. “Street” fighters engage in dog fights that are informal street corner, back alley and playground activities.
Stripped of the rules and formality of the traditional pit fight, these are spontaneous events triggered by insults, turf invasions or the simple taunt, “My dog can kill yours. ” “Street” fights are often associated with gang activities. The fights may be conducted with money, drugs or bragging rights as the primary payoff. There is often no attempt to care for animals injured in the fight (ASPCA, 2013). Some of the dogs are thrown out the car on the side of the road, left to die. Worst case scenario the dogs are killed immediately with a close range shot from a gun to the head. Hobbyist” fighters are more organized, with one or more dogs participating in several organized fights a year as a sideline for both entertainment and to attempt to supplement income. They pay more attention to care and breeding of their dogs and are more likely to travel across state lines for event (ASPCA, 2013). Last but not least “Professional” fighters. Who would even label themselves as a “Professional” dog fighter? People do; “Professional” dogfighters often have large numbers of animals (as many as 50 or more) and earn money from breeding, selling and fighting dogs at a central location and on the road.
They often pay particular attention to promoting established winning bloodlines and to long-term conditioning of animals. (ASPCA, 2013) Punishment and Prevention Dog fighting, despite its felony status in all 50 states, is still a grave concern to animal advocates. Although the Michael Vick dogfighting case, and his recent release from home detention, have focused the national spotlight on dogfighting cruelties, dogfighting has long been a thriving underground industry across the country in both urban and rural areas (society, 2011).
Those who make dog fighting a pit bull issue do the dogs a grave disservice. A new bill in the Senate would outlaw spectators’ willful attendance at organized animal fights and impose penalties for bringing a minor to an animal fight. This bill has bipartisan support (society, 2011). The Federal Animal Welfare Act prohibits the interstate transportation of dogs for fighting purposes. A pending federal bill, S. 382, would create the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2005.
The Act would amend the United States Code, making it a crime for any person to knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal in an animal fighting venture if any animal in the venture was moved in interstate or foreign commerce. Additionally, it would be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, transport, or deliver, or receive for purposes of transportation, in interstate or foreign commerce, any dog or other animal for purposes of having the dog or other animal participate in an animal fighting venture.
Finally, it would be a crime for any person to knowingly use the mail service of the United States Postal Service or any instrumentality of interstate commerce for commercial speech promoting an animal fighting venture except as performed outside the limits of the states of the United States. Penalties for violations of the Act would include a fine, up to two years imprisonment, or both. The Act would repeal any conflicting provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (Gibson, 2005).
If a person see’s or suspect dog fighting they should not hesitate to report the owner to the authority. Conclusion These dogs are VICTIMS in every sense of the word. Exploited, abused, and tortured for human gain, Pit Bulls are innocent beings caught up in a tragic societal issue. The American pit bull has two powerful enemies: the “humane groups” working for his extinction, and the modern dog fighter who are producing dogs of dubious genetics and characteristics while keeping them in negative headlines.
Dogfighting is tremendously widespread and has reached epidemic levels in America’s urban communities. The devastating impact of social, economic and racial injustice in these communities that are exposed to such cruelty to animals. Are just the tip of the ice berg? America’s finest legal minds, political activists and social advocates have painstakingly dissected the culture of poverty in an attempt to understand the disproportionately high rates of crime, drug use, and social deviance in inner-city communities (Gibson, 2005).
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