Dogfighting: A dreadful sport

We human beings have so many different kinds of entertainment that we can choose from to pass time. Is it necessary for us to hurt another living being who is termed as man’s best friend? Isn’t it an irony that such a sport called ‘dogfighting’ has gained popularity around the world which brings end to a beautiful life? Here’s a look into the matter of dogfighting.

Dogs are the best four-legged creature whom we domesticate and say that they are our best friends who serve as stress busters, guide dogs, in defence and police, to cure diseases, to find out diseases, an animal who is so talented and can be trained for so many different things to help mankind in their progress. We have read stories where pets have saved their owners from death because of their sixth sense and alertness.

A gory act

Sadly human beings use dogs for gambling in a sport called ‘dogfighting’ where there will be two dogs putting against each other to fight in which there is certainty of death of one dog and whoever betted on the winner will win lots of money. Animal fighting has been throughout the world but dog fighting in particular was associated with the UK.

In this day and age where everything is modernised, all are well educated and groomed but it is very sad to know that such people are interested in a sport which is lethal and dangerous. No one has the right to play with anyone’s life, but it is happening because few people indulge themselves in dogfighting sport.

A blood sport

Dogfighting is a blood sport in which people train dogs to be aggressive to fight till death. It is a form of entertainment which generates revenue through stud fees, gambling and admission fees. The original fighting dogs were large, heavy build, powerful breeds like pitbull of today. It is difficult to understand why people would indulge in such vicious and gruesome sport even after knowing the aftermath how they can enjoy and relish to be part of such game. One of the facts regarding dogfight is dogs are placed in a ring and forced to fight. They tear in to each other until the dogs die or give up. The fight may last from ten minutes to three hours. Dogs die from shock and blood loss.

This sport definitely shows cruelty towards animals and is also a danger to people who attend such sport. Seeing so much of violence for hours in person will affect their psyche, which in turn might affect their life in a very negative fashion.

A peek into the past

This sport had been popular in many countries throughout the history and continued to be practiced both legally and illegally around the world. Dogfighting is illegal in 50 states and considered felony in 47 states in the US that it’s becoming a global problem, which is now out of control. Dog fighting is practiced widely in Latin American countries and is now gaining popularity in Afghanistan.

In India, dogfighting is illegal and at the same time to possess videos of the same or attending a dogfighting event is punishable. In the 1750’s, dogfighting was very common as police officers used to enjoy this sport a lot. Although many laws were passed, still this sport continued to prevail.

Victims of dogfight

Victims of dogfights are affected very badly in every fight and sometimes they faced the risk of death or getting maimed by other dog. Stolen animals are often used in training as bait or as breeding stock for bait. There are many animals stolen for bait without warning.

The RSPCA has revealed that an increasing number of dogs are being treated for stab wounds, burns and broken bones due to street fighting. There were reports of dog fighting numbering 284 in the UK, which is an increase of 1200 percent as in 2004.

Training for fighting dogs?

  • They are forced to do things that a dog might not want to. They are adorned with heavy chains and are made to run a lot.
  • They are left outside on roads.
  • They are given overdose of steroids.
  • They are termed to harsh and cruel treatment which no one can imagine.

People involved

People involved in dog fighting sport can be divided into three categories. ‘Street’ fights in layman’s language means the fights that take place on streets. For street dog fighting they don’t require any particular place, as a street’s corner would be more than enough to start the game. Usually young lads are involved in street dogfighting where they would want to prove that their dogs could win the fight when compared to the dog owned by another young guy. It is just like a game for them where they might place a bet for some money also. The aftermath of such fights is nothing but to encounter dead or dying animals.

‘Hobbyists’ meaning persons doing something because it’s their hobby are well organised and indulged in this sport. In this, the dogs are given more attention with regards to care and breeding.

‘Professionals’ are those who are deeply involved in this sport as their livelihood. These people breed more dogs and earn money from breeding, selling and fighting dogs at particular locations. They act like breeders of a particular bloodline.

The animal charity is concerned that pets are being used as weapons to intimidate people. This claim is proved by the fact that two-third cases of street fights in the UK in 2008 involved youths. There was an increase of more than forty percent in the number of youths using animals to intimidate people.

Time to stop the cruelty

It is our responsibility as a civilized human being to spread awareness and stop such cruelty towards animals. It is a shameful act on our part to be involved/encouraged/indifferent towards such ghastly sport/game, which is done for entertainment because of which a living being is caused to death due to our indulgence or negligence.

(As told to the author by Dharmesh Solanki from PETA–People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

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