Top 5 things you can do to help end dog fighting
Despite being banned in Victorian times, dog fighting remains a significant animal welfare issue in the UK and takes place in our big cities, towns and rural areas.
Dogs forced into fighting suffer terrible injuries, both from the fights and at the hands of their vicious 'owners'. Most will be killed in the ring or die soon after from their injuries. Those who can no longer fight are often brutally killed to make way for a new dog.
Here are the top 5 things you can do to help end dog fighting
1. Know what you’re looking for
Dog fighting in the UK operates at three levels:
- Street rollers who force dogs into spontaneous fights in urban areas without much planning, rules or specific training.
- Hobbyists who aspire to be professional dog fighters that are willing to travel significant distances to take part in fights. These fights have formal ‘rules’ and training.
- Professionals that are part of sophisticated dog fighting rings which operate in the UK and internationally, usually with links to other serious crimes. At this level, there’re strict training regimes and rules, and large sums of cash wagered on the outcome of fights.
2. Learn how to spot the signs
All dog fighters subject their dogs to extreme exercise regimes to build muscle and stamina. The dogs are usually kept out of sight in poor quality housing and have multiple scars in various stages of healing. You might see people behaving suspiciously as multiple dogs are brought into a single location. You may hear sounds from the fights; dogs barking, yelping, as well as people shouting and cheering.
3. Report your suspicions
Sharing your suspicions about the people and places involved in dog fighting can make a real difference. All you need to do is to contact the League's Animal Crimewatch reporting service. This is a completely confidential hotline and the information you provide will be thoroughly investigated by one of our highly trained staff. Dog fighters thrive on secrecy, by working together we can deny them it.
However you report it, we’ll protect your identify throughout and let you know how our investigation is progressing.
4. Help educate others
Help educate others and raise awareness on social media by following the League on Twitter and Facebook and share key news stories, photos and videos with your contacts. The more we raise awareness of dog fighting, the harder it will be for these people to get away with it. There are a range of resources on our website to help you raise awareness including posters, leaflets and advice sheets for rescue centres, veterinary surgeries and the police.
5. Join a supporter group
Join one of our local supporter groups where you can meet with like-minded people to actively campaign in your area. You could be running local events in town centres, shopping centres or libraries, designing your own events, fundraising, lobbying local politicians or working with the media.
Dog fighting is an horrendous crime against man’s best friend. By working together and taking these five simple steps you can help end dog fighting.
You can find out more about the League's work on tackling dog fighting here.