New research reveals extent of dog fighting in the USA

The scale of dog fighting in the USA has been revealed for first time by new research from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  

ASPCA experts estimate there are tens of thousands of dog fighters across the US forcing hundreds of thousands of dogs to brutally train, fight, and suffer as part of this so-called ‘sport’.

The national research released by the ASPCA shows the gap between the public’s awareness and understanding of dog fighting, and its actual prevalence in the US. The findings show that many people do not understand how common dog fighting truly is, struggle to recognise the signs and fail to report suspicious activity to the authorities.

Most alarmingly, only about half of those who said they did have suspicions report it, but many didn’t bother. Less than a third felt very confident in spotting the signs. This adds up too many missed opportunities to protect dogs from this horrendous form of abuse.

The position in the UK is similar. Data published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shows the public have made around 5,000 calls about organised dog fighting to their animal cruelty helpline in England and Wales since 2006.  Data on convictions for dog fighting in the UK show it takes place in our big cities, towns and rural areas.

Yet awareness of dog fighting in the UK also remains low.

It’s clear more needs to be done to help people spot the signs of dog fighting and report it. That’s why the League has published information for the public, veterinary and law enforcement communities to help them understand what to look for and how to report it.

Dog fighters thrive on secrecy: let’s work together to deny them it.

If you have information about dog fighting contact our confidential Online Animal Crimewatch reporting service. We’ll guide you through the kind of information we need. Alternatively, please contact us in confidence on 01483 361 108 or email us directly on

Our specially trained investigators will follow up on the information you provide, and we’ll let you know how it progresses. Let’s do more to stop this abuse.

Banner image: Live Amores Perros by Kantegh - Licensed under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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