The Effects of Dog Fighting are Far Reaching and it is Cruel to Animals
Dogs involved in dog fights are often severely injured--or killed--during the fight. These fights may last for hours until one of the animals quits or dies. Furthermore, these animals do not receive veterinary attention. Losers that do not die may be tortured, starved to death, or killed outright by their owners. Other animals, such as owned pets or strays may be stolen and used as "bait" to train fighting dogs, often suffering before they die.
It is Dangerous to People--Especially Children
Exposure to dog fighting can have a direct effect on our children. They can be bitten or attacked by dogs used in fighting. They can be hurt or abused by other people at dog fights. They are also exposed to gangs, weapons, drugs, and gambling because those who fight animals are prone to participate in other illegal activities.
But beyond these immediate dangers, violence that is condoned and encouraged, such as in these fights, can effect children (as well as adults) by promoting a desensitization to the suffering others. They show that an acceptance of violence is a "norm." A survey of Chicago's school children has found that students are almost universally aware of dogs fighting, in some neighborhoods 1 out of every 6 children admit that they have attended a dog fight.
It Degrades Our Community
Dog fighting promotes crime, such as cruelty to animals, violence to others, theft, drug use/possession/distribution, illegal weapons use/possession, and gambling. It also creates fear in our neighborhoods of being attacked or killed by dogs, as well as fear of people who use fighting dogs to intimidate others. Recently convicted dog fighters in Chicago have criminal records that include such significant crimes as assault/battery, arson, weapons charges, burglary, drug charges, and attempted murder.
Dog fighting decreases the livability in our neighborhoods because often times, illegal kennels are established to breed, train, and house fighting dogs. These kennels are responsible for odor from feces, and flies, rats, and other vermin attracted by feces and spilt food. These kennels also generate excessive noise due to barking, people coming and going at all hours, and loud music used to "drown out" fighting and training noises.
Long term, dog fighting effects the community by promoting a culture of violence.
Neighborhoods learn to accept violence as a normal facet of daily life. Often, people will feel like "prisoners in their own homes" because they do not feel it is safe to go out into the neighborhood.
Ways to Help
To help eradicate dog fighting and the problems it brings:
- In Chicago, call 911 whenever dog fighting is seen or 311 if it is suspected. In other municipalities, contact your local police department. Reports can be made anonymously.
- In Cook County, Illinois, you may call the Cook County Crime Stoppers Hotline (1-800-535-STOP) if you have information about dog-fighting. Reporting tips about dog fighting can make you eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. All reports are anonymous.
- Support police enforcement of dog fighting laws
- Report animal cruelty to Police, animal control agency, or local humane society.
- Report all neighborhood nuisances, such as large numbers of dogs, excessive barking, illegal kennels, unusual number of people "coming and going," and abandoned buildings, garages, or lots.
Keep Your Loved Ones Safe
- Always supervise animals outdoors or keep them safely inside your home
- Always walk your dog on a leash
- Never leave young children unattended with a dog
- Teach children safety around animals
- Teach children safety around strangers
- Maintain community awareness
Contact The Anti-Cruelty Society or your local humane society if you have concerns or questions about animals that may be at risk of cruelty or neglect. Remember, you can be a voice for the helpless.