National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

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The ASPCA coined April 8 as National Dog Fighting Awareness Day each and every year to reveal the truth behind dogfighting and encourage dog lovers around the nation to take action to prevent and/or stop this cruel act. 

There’s no wonder why a day has been developed to raise awareness of dogfighting crimes. Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states, but the there may still be tens of thousands of dogfighting rings in the United States alone. 

What is Dogfighting?

Dogfighting is a brutal “sport” where dogs are trained to severely wound or kill their opponent. 

The dogs involved in dogfighting become loyal to their “owner” in many cases and seek to please them. These dogs have been trained to believe fighting is equal to loyalty. 

This is a kill or be-killed sport. The losing opponent often does not receive any type of veterinary care and is left to pass away alone.

What Can I Do?

To help take action against dogfighting rings, the first thing you can dp is sign a petition. 

You can also do your part in preventing dogfighting rings by learning the signs and reporting anything suspicious. Your call will remain confidential.

Some signs to look for include: 

  • Dogs who have serious injuries to their ear(s) or limb(s). This could be obvious, but many dogfighters will be quick to tell you their dog got into a simple fight at the dog park or find another excuse as to why their dog looks the way she does
  • Dogs hooked up to heavy chains
  • Tires are often used as “bait” during training periods
  • Dogs locked in basements (yes, people really do this)

Stay Safe: DO NOT APPROACH

If you believe you have found a dogfighting ring or a dog who is involved in fighting, DO NOT approach this yourself. This is a dangerous field and must be handled by police, animal welfare officers, and other professionals very carefully. 

Simply give the tip and let them take care of the rest.

Adopting a Former Fighting Dog

Adopting a former fighting dog may sound scary and, in some cases, it is. But, in others, these dogs can become the most grateful, loyal, and loving dogs you have ever seen. Those who have had the courage to adopt former fighting dogs have given them a second chance at life. The opportunity to love, to be loved, and to spend the rest of their days in complete bliss. 

Behavioral Modification for Adopted Former Fighters

It’s important to keep in mind that many of the dogs available who are former fighters may appear to be completely rehabilitated, but violent tendencies could still occur. Humans aren’t the only ones with PTSD; dogs can experience PTSD as well. 

You are saving a life and making a dog’s dream come true. If you can handle his or her past, he or she will likely be forever grateful for the present and future you share with them. 

Help Save These Dogs

Unfortunately, there are still tens of thousands of dogs who are not safe. If you have any suspicion there is dog fighting in your area, alert the police and your local humane society and/or rescue organization. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.