Petition against dog fights

Dog fighting is a type of blood sport, generally defined as pitting two game dogs against one another in a ring or a pit for theentertainment of the spectators or the gratification of the dogfighters, who are sometimes referred to as dogmen.[1]

In rural areas, dog fights are often staged in barns or outdoor pits; in urban areas, fights may occur in garages, basements, warehouses, abandoned buildings, back alleys, neighborhood playgrounds, or in the streets.[2][3] Dog fights usually last until one dog is declared a winner, which occurs when one dog fails to scratch, one dog dies, or one dog jumps out of the pit.[4] The loser, if not killed in the fight, is typically killed by the owner through a gun, beatings, or torture.[1] However, sometimes dog fights end without declaring a winner. For instance, the dog's owner may call the fight.[4] Dog fighting generates revenue from stud fees, admission fees and gambling. It is also a felony in all 50 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.[2] In addition to being a felony in all 50 U.S. states, the federal U.S. Animal Welfare Act makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, possess, train, transport, deliver, or receive any dog for purposes of having the dog participate in an animal fighting venture. The act also makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly use the mail service of the United States Postal Service or any instrumentality of interstate commerce for commercial speech for purposes of advertising a dog for use in an animal fighting venture, promoting or in any other manner furthering an animal fighting venture except as performed outside the limits of the States of the United States.[5]Worldwide, several countries have banned dog fighting, but it is still legal in some countries like Japan, Honduras, and parts of Russia.[2]


Societal aspects[edit]

After interviewing 31 dogmen and attending 14 dog fights in the Southern United States, Evans, Gauthier, and Forsyth theorized on what attracts men to dog fights.[12] In their study, Evans, et al., discussed dog fighting's attractiveness in terms of masculinity and class immobility.[12] In the United States, masculinity embodies the qualities of strength, aggression, competition, and striving for success. By embodying these characteristics, a man can gain honor and status in his society.[12] Yet, working class occupations, unlike middle or upper class occupations, provide limited opportunities to validate this culturally accepted definition of masculinity.[12] So, working class men look for alternative ways to validate their masculinity and obtain honor and status. One way to do this is through dogfighting.[12] This is supported by the Evans, et al. findings: the majority of committed dogmen were mostly drawn from the working class, while the middle and upper classes were barely represented.[12] Men from middle and upper classes have opportunities to express their masculinity through their occupations; dog fighting, therefore, is just a hobby for them while it plays a central role in the lives of working class men.[12] Those from the higher classes are drawn in by the thrill and excitement of the fight.

Aside from enjoyment of the sport and status, people are also drawn to dog fighting for money.[3] In fact, the average dog fight could easily net more money than an armed robbery, or a series of isolated drug transactions.[13]

Dogs that are born, bought or stolen for fighting are often neglected and abused from the start.[13] Most spend their entire lives alone on chains or in cages and only know the attention of a human when they are being trained to fight and they only know the company of other animals in the context of being trained to kill them.[13] Additionally, most dogs spend their entire lives without adequate food, water, or shelter.[13]

All fighting dogs are conditioned from a very early age to develop what dog-fighters refer to as "gameness."[13] 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".[13] 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.[13] If the dogs pass the test, they are deemed ready to fight. The scope and method of training varies dramatically depending on the level and experience of the dog-fighter; however, the following implements and techniques are commonly used to train the dogs:[13]

  • Treadmill: Dogs are run on the treadmills to increase cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
  • Catmill/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.
  • Springpole/Jumppole: A large pole with a spring hanging down 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 springpole is a hanging cage, into which bait animals are placed. The dogs repeatedly lunge up toward the cage.
  • Flirtpole: A handheld pole with a lure attached. The dogs chase the lure along the ground.
  • Chains: Dogs have very heavy chains wrapped around their necks, generally in lieu of collars; they build neck and upper body strength by constantly bearing the immense weight of the chains.
  • Weights: Weights are often affixed to chains and dangled from the dogs' necks. This builds neck and upper body strength. Generally, dogs are permanently chained this way. However, sometimes the trainers run them with their weights attached.
  • Bait: Animals are tied up while the dogs tear them apart or sometimes they are confined in an area to be chased and mauled by the dogs.


  • Drugs/Vitamins/Supplements: 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; Provim; Magnum supplement; hormones (testosterone, Propionate, Repotest, Probolic Oil); weight-gain supplements; creatine monohydrate; speed; steroids (Winstrol V, Dinabol, Equipose); and cocaine.


STOP DOG FIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!