12 people have been arrested in the southern part of the United States in an ongoing investigation of dog fighting and a total of 367 pit bulls were taken into custody during the sweep. Pit bulls are a very receptive breed of dog and the dogs in question were exposed to surreal conditions which resulted in their aggressive behavior and anger.
The ASPCA (Humane Society of the United States) is currently taking care of the animals. As impressionable as pit bulls are, it is not far off to assume a good number of the dogs will return to acceptable behavior and state of mind with continued love, care and treatment.
When officials seized the 367 pit bulls, over $500,000 cash was also recovered. Raids were done in Georgia and Alabama on Friday after law enforcement from the state and federal branches issued search warrants. Officials are still searching for more suspects. Dogs were recovered from Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.
The widespread area being searched and seized is indicative of just how serious government officials are about dog fighting. People that participate in dog fighting are often members of gangs, or are involved in other criminal activities.
Dog fighting mixes animals dubbed man’s best friend and a devastating demonstration of violence. Why, though? Many pit-bull owners are just as, if not more, protective of their pit bull as it is to them. Like other illegal things, people get into it for the money. Gambling adds to the list of charges anyone associated with dog fighting will receive, as wagers are put on the animals. If a dog wins a fight, the dog’s owner wins a lot of cash. If a dog loses a fight, it is probably because it lost its life.
Gamblers, criminals and ring-owners all have one thing in common: they don’t care about the pit bulls. They breed, beat, train, and spend thousands of dollars on these animals just to bury them in the end without so much as a name. Pit bulls are exposed to extreme conditions and this leads to the anger we see depicted amongst them. This in turn frightens people who have not dealt with pit bulls before and causes some people to mistakenly think that put bulls are born vicious.
This video was uploaded by a “pro-pit” activist and it shows how much the treatment a pit bull receives affects its appearance even in photographs. There are multiple examples of pit bulls being happy and playing with people off all ages. Just like children, pit bulls are curious, loyal, and very smart creatures. They adapt very quickly to training procedures, commands and learning new things. As fast as they are to learn, pit bulls are quick to make a routine and follow it with loyalty. The owner should be fully responsible for how that dog should behave in public. Dog fighters have no owner/companion relationship, which puts fighting dogs in a different category than domestic dogs of the same variety.
With long-term attention and proper handling, dogs used in fighting for sport can make a recovery into a good life of lazing in the sun and playing in the front yard. Some dogs go right into programs designed to train them in order to get adopted.
A pit bull may just be a dog, but dogs are amazingly sensitive to their environments. Hopefully with law enforcement involvement, dog fighting can be eliminated and Americans can see what gentle, happy dogs pit bulls really are.
By: Jodi Phillips