Dog fighting is an abhorrent sport. We don’t even like to think about what those poor dogs get put though. But, despite being banned in Victorian times, it still goes on today, and is a significant animal welfare issue right across the UK.
Dogs are forced into fighting, suffering terrible injuries from both the sport and their vicious ‘owners’. Most are killed in the ring or subsequently die from their injuries. It’s common for those who can no longer fight to be brutally killed to may way for their ‘replacement’.
We think it’s particularly important to raise awareness of both the horrors of dog fighting, and how you can prevent it in your local area.
Here are some of the signs to look out for that, if reported, could help clamp down on dog fighting and save the lives of many dogs:
What To Look For
There are three main types of dog fighting that operate in the UK. These range from ‘hobbyists’ to full blown ‘professionals’.
Here’s the basics:
- Hobbyists are the most basic level of dog fighters. They aspire to become ‘professionals’, and will travel a significant distance to take part in fights, which have formal ‘rules’ and training’.
- Street rollers are renowned for forcing dogs into spontaneous rights in urban areas. These fights are often unplanned, with little training and few rules, and can pose a threat for local dogs.
- Professional dog fighters operate in rings throughout the UK and internationally. They are largely underground organisations, and often have strong links to other serious crimes. There are strict rules involved in this type of fighting, with large sums of cash awarded to the winners.
Spot The Signs
The biggest giveaway that you’re likely to spot is the size of the dog. Dog fighters subject their dogs to extreme exercise regimes to build their muscle and stamina, so they’ll often stand out as looking quite different from other dogs.
Fighting dogs may also demonstrate unusual behaviours. They are often kept in poor quality housing, neglected of emotional contact, and will likely act unnaturally around other dogs. They are also more likely to bear multiple scars as a result of prior fights.
In terms of dog fighters, keep an eye out for people behaving suspiciously, as well as multiple dogs being brought into a single, small location. Fights will bring about a lot of noise – barking, yelping, and undoubtedly cheering.
Report Your Suspicions
If you suspect that there’s any level of dog fighting going on in your local area, it’s essential that you report them. There are several ways you can go about reporting your suspicions, and whichever method you choose is sure to do some good.
We recommend definitely contacting your local police force and giving them details of what you saw and where you saw it. It might also be a good idea to call your local council and make their dog warden aware of the situation. These are your two main contacts.
Otherwise, there are a number of charities that you could also contact. While they may not be able to act immediately, making them aware of your suspicions means they can keep an eye out for any similar suspicious activity.
As long as you report it to someone, you’re on the way to getting something done!
If social media is good for one thing, it’s educating people and raising awareness of key issues. We strongly suggest, if you suspect that dog fighting is going on nearby, that you take to social media and let others know about your concerns.
The more you let people know about dog fighting, the bigger the impact you can have. And, it can help protect other dogs in your area from suffering a similar horrific fate.
We hope that, by giving you the signs to look out for, we can help raise awareness of dog fighting sports that still go on today around the world. It’ll take a push, but hopefully with a little effort we can all raise awareness and finally put an end to dog fighting.
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