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dog fighting

two dogs fightingHundreds of dogs are forced to fight on a DAILY basis in the City of Chicago and Suburbs. Fighting dogs are torn apart alive. If the loser survives the fight, it may be set on fire, left to die, suffocated or worse by a frustrated owner. Countless other animals (dogs, cats, kittens, and rabbits) are stolen to be used as training bait.

In addition to being an animal welfare issue, this is also a child welfare issue, as children regularly attend these fights. Children who are desensitized to violence grow up to commit acts of violence. There is also a great deal of gambling and drug abuse that occurs at dog fights.

UPDATE January 27, 2008:

Michael Vick's dogs get a second chance. See their amazing journey from horrible abuse to happiness and freedom. Stories, videos and educational information.

UPDATE January 10, 2008:

On January 10, 2008, the Chicago Police Department and The Humane Society of the United States announced their partnership to combat dog fighting. At a joint press conference, they announced that the HSUS is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. This program aims to encourage citizens to work with law enforcement to eliminate this terrible crime.

The HSUS' End Dogfighting in Chicago program, features specialized police training about dog fighting, media and educational campaigns targeted to youths, a program involving street-level intervention with potential dog fighters, and more.

If you have information about illegal animal fighting, contact the Chicago Police Department at 1-800-535-STOP (7867).

More Dog Fighting Facts:

Dog fighting is a highly-organized criminal industry. A three-year study released by the Chicago Police Department showed that 65 percent of the people arrested for animal abuse crimes - including dog fighting - were also arrested for violent crimes against people. An 86 percent of those charged in animal fighting have been arrested for multiple violent offenses.


Contrary to the media's portrayal of them, American Pit Bull Terriers, the most commonly used in dog fighting, are loyal, loving companions who make wonderful family dogs. However, they are not for everyone. If you are an inexperienced guardian or don't possess an alpha personality - look for another dog. If you intend to chain or keep your dog outside - don't get any dog, especially not a "pit bull".

These dogs are very energetic and social creatures that thrive on human companionship and activity. According to the American Canine Temperament Testing Association, American Pit Bull Terriers, when temperament tested, had a 95% PASSING RATE, compared to a 77% passing rate for all breeds on the average.

Dogs of the affectionately named "bully breeds" are tenacious, strong, agile, very loyal and have a desire to please their owner. Unfortunately, these traits have attracted the worst of humanity. Due to media attention, more people are becoming aware of the underground "sport" of dog fighting and dogs are being rescued from owners who seek to exploit them. However, things are not changing fast enough as dog fighting still remains a huge problem in many cities and towns.

DOG FIGHTING is a FELONY and WITNESSING A DOG FIGHT is a MISDEMEANOR.

Check out the following web sites for more information on bully breeds:


Signs of Dog Fighting in Your Community

  1. An inordinate number of pit bulls (along with other breeds of dogs used as bait dogs) being kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are chained and seem unsocialized.
  2. Dogs with scars on their faces, front legs, hind end or thighs.
  3. Dog fighting training equipment such as:
    • treadmills used to build dogs' endurance
    • "break sticks" used to pry apart the jaws of dogs locked in battle
    • tires or "springpoles" (usually a large spring with rope attached to either end) hanging from tree limbs
  4. Unusual foot traffic coming and going from a location at odd hours

What You Can Do to Help

The Humane Society of the United States offers some advice on what you can do to help:

  • If you see any suspicious activity related to animal abuse or dog fighting taking place in your community or anywhere, call the local police department or humane officers to investigate. Dog fighting is one symptom of other illegal activities in the neighborhood.
  • Write letters to law enforcement officials, such as your local sheriff, police department, and prosecutors, urging them to take the issue seriously.
  • Learn the truth about "pit bulls" many of whom make great pets. Spread the word - one of the best ways to help these animals is by dispelling the stigma associated with the bully breeds.

Support legislation that imposes harsher penalties on dog fighting. Thanks to the action of concerned citizens, animal fighting is now a felony in the state of Illinois. Also, in 2007, President George Bush signed the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act into law. This law provides felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities, including commerce in cockfighting weapons. It will make it much harder for criminals who engage in dog fighting and cockfighting to continue their operations. Each violation of the federal law may bring up to three years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine for perpetrators.

If you have information about illegal animal fighting, contact the Chicago Police Department at 1-800-535-STOP (7867). You can make a difference!

You can write to the Mayor and the Superintendent of Police in your city requesting more officers be assigned to the Animal Abuse Control Unit.

For Chicago:

Mayor of the City of Chicago
121 North LaSalle Street
5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Superintendent of Police
City of Chicago
3501 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

You can also write to the budget director requesting more of our tax money be spent to educate children and adults on the serious ramification of dog fighting.

Budget Director
City of Chicago
121 North LaSalle Street
Room 604
Chicago, IL 60602