As part of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month in April, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) designates April 8 National Dog Fighting Awareness Day to raise awareness of the prevalence of dog fighting in the U.S., reveal little-known truths about the blood sport, and encourage animal lovers nationwide to take action against one of the most brutal forms of animal cruelty.
Despite being a felony in all 50 states, dog fighting continues to be a popular underground activity. Additional criminal activities often connected with dog fighting include drug and weapons violations. Last year alone, the ASPCA helped take down dog fighting operations in March and August spanning six states and involving more than 500 dogs. The ASPCA continues to tackle the illegal underground world of dog fighting rings through investigations, law enforcement training, legislation, advocacy and rehabilitation of dogs seized during dog fighting raids.
“Dog fighting is the ultimate betrayal of the human-animal bond and the brutality of this crime needs to be brought to the forefront of the nation’s conscience,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “Dog fighting is not just a crime, it’s a deep stain on our national character—a cultural embarrassment we should all feel. This is about doing everything we can to bring this nightmarish practice to an end. We can’t rest until it does.”
Among the misconceptions about dog fighting are that it’s a rare activity, that it’s restricted to certain parts of the country, and that participants represent a very narrow slice of American culture. None of those assumptions are true. “National Dog Fighting Awareness Day sheds a light on the prevalence of this crime in America and encourages people to take action by learning how to recognize and report suspected dog fighting activities so that authorities could step in and bring this horrific form of animal abuse to an end,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response.