April 8th is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day!
Two dogs stand face-to-face, a few metres apart. They bark ferociously as they’re held back by heavy chains gripped firmly by their handlers. “FIGHT!” echoes through the dim-lit alleyway as the chains hit the ground and the dogs are released. They rush towards each other... Frothing from their mouths as they widen their jaws and clamp down into one another.
Dogs don’t do this naturally. They are bred, trained and conditioned this way in the disturbing world of organized dogfighting.
Why National Dogfighting Awareness Day Matters!
Dogfighting is the ultimate betrayal of loving animals and unfortunately to what many people think, dogfighting isn’t rare, or a relic of the past. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) established and recognizes National Dogfighting Awareness Day annually in order to raise awareness and educate the public about the reality of dogfighting. While it horrifies people to learn of its existence, many people are not aware of how widespread it is across the globe today, even in the UK! In total there have been almost 8,000 reports from RSPCA of dogfighting across England and Wales between 2015 and 2018
Is dog fighting illegal in the UK?
Dogfighting as a 'sport' in the UK was banned in 1835, even then it was considered barbaric. But this horrific form of dog abuse continues in 2021. Forcing dogs to fight each other is a major animal welfare issue here in the UK due to the underground nature of those involved. As part of the ‘training regime’ for fighter dogs, pets are often stolen from gardens etc to be used as ‘bait dogs'. They are thrown to the fighter dogs to be torn apart. or depending on the breed are trained up to fight themselves. Dogfighting can attract a jail term of up to 6 months. We say this is not enough!
What are bait dogs?
A bait dog could be any dog. It could be your dog. Dog fighters use bait dogs to let their game dogs practice mutating another dog, without being harmed in the process. In other words, a bait dog is basically a punching bag for game (fighting) dogs. Except we all know that dogs don't punch, they bite and tear.
To ensure their dogs aren't damaged, they will either tape the bait's dog mouth shut, or break out their teeth, so the bait dog can't fight back. Yes, we did say dogs, plural because they generally unleash a number of dogs on one victim at a time. Not only that, but they also tie bait dogs up to a tree or a poll, so no matter how terrified the bate dog is he cannot get away from the 'games'.
Top 5 ways how you can protect my dog from being stolen?
Supervise your dog outside: Supervise your dog in your garden, especially if you have a front garden, have a low fence or a gate with no lock.
Spay or neuter your pet: Many thieves are looking for dogs to use in puppy farms, so having your dog spayed or neutered makes them less attractive.
Remove beware of dog signs: Although sign-on garden gates and houses may scare some burglar away, it makes it easier for dog thieves to identify their next target.
Microchip your pet: It is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped and up-to-date details. If your pet is microchipped it is easier for it to be traced back to its rightful owner.
Never leave your dog unattended in public: Keep an eye on your pup at all times, even if you're only running into the corner shop for a couple of seconds. No dog should be left tied up outside shops or in cars. It only takes a moment for a thief to snatch them.
Currently, in the UK, abuse against animals is increasing dramatically and very rarely offenders, when found guilty and barred from keeping or being involved with animals.
There is also currently no animal abuse register… But there can be.
Adopt My Pawfect Match are supporting Change.org and ask that it becomes law that an Animal Abuse Register is brought into place and that all offenders are placed on this register. We also ask that offenders are barred from keeping or working with animals for a minimum period of 10 years if not lifelong!