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Jump to. An in-depth article on the insidious crime of dogfighting, including information for investigators and prosecutors. The discussion focuses on the history, sociology, and and effects on communities due to dogfighting. Further included is a discussion of the relevant legal issues raised in prosecuting dogfighting offenders. Dog fighting is an insidious underground organized crime that deserves much legal and political scrutiny.
The blood sport, once sanctioned by aristocracy, embraced by medieval gentry and later promoted by colonial and Victorian miscreants, is now completely outlawed in the United States. Notwithstanding the absolute prohibition in America, it has reached epidemic proportions in all urban communities and continues to thrive in many rural areas as well. The collective American conscience has long been repulsed by the undeniable brutality within the culture of dogfighting, but the law enforcement community has been regrettably lax in appreciating the full scope and gravity of the problem.
Historically, the crime was erroneously classified as an isolated animal welfare issue, and as such has been predominately disregarded by law enforcement. The communities that have been morally, socially and culturally scarred by the menacing pestilence of dogfighting have paid dearly for the apathy of the legal community. From a very early age, children are routinely exposed to the unfathomable violence that is inherent within the blood sport. Even seasoned law enforcement agents are consistently appalled by the atrocities that they encounter at dog fights, yet the children that grow up exposed to it are conditioned to believe that the violence is normal; they are systematically desensitized to the suffering, and ultimately become criminalized.
Dog fighters are violent criminals that engage in a whole host of peripheral criminal activities. Many are heavily involved in organized crime, racketeering, drug distribution, or gangs, and they arrange and attend the fights as a forum for gambling and drug trafficking. Within the last decade, enlightened law enforcement agencies and government officials have become cognizant of the clandestine culture of dog-fighting and its nexus with other crimes and community violence.
Many individuals continue to deny the existence or scope of dogfighting in America, or they maintain that it is merely an isolated animal welfare issue; however, it is increasingly difficult to defend such an archaic notion in the face of overwhelming legal and empirical evidence to the contrary. This paper will examine the history of dogfighting as well as the cultural and sociological aspects of this crime. In addition to detailing the laws that directly prohibit dogfighting, an examination of the peripheral criminal activity and laws that can be used to directly curb dogfighting and its secondary effects are discussed.
The paper concludes by analyzing the impediments to enforcement and how multi-jurisdictional task forces can be instrumental in eradicating this urban plague. Quite recently, the United Kennel Club has recognized the American bulldog and Presa Canario, both of which are often mistakenly referred to as pit bulls as well. Regardless of the official title, these dogs are arguably among the most loyal and most abused of all dogs in American culture. They have been selectively bred as fighting dogs due to their unique capacity to fight to the death whereas most other dogs retreat once they have exhausted themselves.
Generally, pit bulls are remarkably gentle and are fiercely loyal toward humans. This quality has made them particularly attractive to dog-fighters because they will withstand considerable abuse and neglect at the hands of their owners and will remain loyal and non-aggressive toward humans. As with all living creatures, these dogs have a threshold for abuse and neglect, albeit a very high one, and once that threshold is crossed they can become extremely aggressive to humans Real dog fights caught on tape well. The rising popularity of "super-breeds" such as Bullmastiffs and Presa Canarios, that are much larger than pit bulls and were traditionally bred to be tenacious guard dogs, should be of great concern when placed in the wrong hands.
In some urban areas, these breeds have been crossed with pit bulls to create larger and more ferocious fighting dogs. The following implements and techniques are commonly used to train the dogs:. Treadmill : Dogs are run on the treadmills to increase cardiovascular fitness and endurance. The dogs are chained to one beam and another small animal like a cat, small dog, or rabbit, is harnessed to or hung from another beam. The dogs run in circles, chasing the bait. Once the exercise sessions are over, the dogs are usually rewarded with the bait they had been pursuing.
This strengthens the jaw muscles and back legs. The same effect is achieved with a simpler spring loaded apparatus hanging from tree limbs. A variation of the springpole is a hanging cage, into which bait animals are placed. The Real dog fights caught on tape repeatedly lunge up toward the cage.
Flirtpole : A handheld pole with a lure attached. The dogs chase the lure along the ground. Chains : Dogs have very heavy chains wrapped around their necks, generally in lieu of collars; they build neck and upper body strength by constantly bearing the immense weight of the chains. This builds neck and upper body strength. Generally, dogs are permanently chained this way.
However, sometimes the trainers run them with their weights attached. Bait : Animals are tied up while the dogs tear them apart or sometimes they are confined in an area to be chased and mauled by the dogs. The dogs are trained against one another and against older, more experienced dogs. If the dogs pass the test, they are deemed ready to fight. The dogs seemed to explode out of their restraints, two projectiles flying into the air toward the center of the pit.
They met under the gas jets and, leaving a trail of spittle and hair, collapsed in an entangled, heaving heap onto the dirt…. The dogs tumbled on their sides and Crib broke free. He dove back onto Butts, catching the back of the brindled dog's head. Butts shook and jiggered, arched his back, tried to loosen Crib, the fine hair of his skull blushing gruesomely.
Crib threw his head back, yanking Butts up. He whipped his head down. Butts hit the ground hard, his legs splaying like the splatter of an overturned pie. But Crib had lost his grip. Butts twisted his trunk around, swiveled onto his back, front paws revolving, back legs churning in the air.
Crib leapt toward his exposed throat. The crowd bellowed, prepared for, anticipating, the blood…. The dirt was turning to syrup around the dogs' tethered he. The bloody skulls thrashed in a terrible unison, Butts's muzzle gaping helplessly up at the gaslights, Crib grinding downward…. Now the crowd got what it came for. The blood cascaded down Crib's breast. Butts worked his jaws, deepening and widening the wound, aided by Real dog fights caught on tape jerks and jumps. They lurched together across the pit to the atonal music of the surrounding chorus, Crib's muzzle propped on Butts's probing skull….
Stamping, applauding, whistling, yelling, the men demanded their due. Winners or losers, they hungered now for a glorious, fatal finish--a magnificent kill was imminent!
Dog fights are stages in a variety of settings. In rural areas, they are often staged in barns or outdoor pits. In urban areas, fights are staged in garages, basements, warehouses and abandoned buildings. Professional fighters have very specific rules for the matches [ 5 ]while street fighters are far less organized. Among the professional and mid-level circuit, matches are arranged months in advance. The locations, referees and participants are carefully selected to ensure maximum secrecy, and spectators are closely scrutinized to weed out infiltrators.
The pits themselves are generally 14 to 20 feet square and 2 to 3 feet high and are often wood but may be constructed from a variety of materials. Before the match, the dogs are weighed and washed to ensure that they are not covered in poison.
When this occurs, the dogs are separated briefly and returned to their handlers. If this happens, the opponent is released and the fight continues, if not the match is over. The process of separating the dogs continues each time there is a turn or if both dogs fail to grab hold of each other for a specified amount of time. Matches end when a dog quits or dies, when a handler pulls a dog from the ring, if a dog jumps out of the pit, or if the fight is raided by the police.
Dogs have been the unwitting victims of exploitation for blood sports since ancient Roman times when they fought against other animals in the Coliseum.
The practice of pitting dogs against other animals, such as bulls and bears, continued through medieval times in England until it was outlawed in by the Parliament in the Humane Act of Around that time, the Staffordshire Bull terrier was developed and modern dog-fighting was born. The dog was brought to America in and dogfighting became part of American culture. Although dogfighting was outlawed in all the states byit did not begin to receive serious law enforcement attention until recently. By all s, dogfighting continues to surreptitiously thrive in America; its prosperity due in large part to the chronic apathy of and denial by the legal system.Real dog fights caught on tape
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A Closer Look at Dogfighting