For animal lovers, it is almost impossible to understand why someone would deliberately force dogs into vicious fights, inflicting untold injury and brutal death. Yet, despite the obvious cruelty and the fact that dogfighting is illegal in many places, the inhumane practice continues without consequences.

Dog fighting is a cruel blood sport where animals are encouraged to rip each other to shreds in a fight to the death while spectators cheer and gamble. When the dogs are no longer useful, they are wetted and electrocuted, hanged, beaten, drowned, shot, slammed against the ground, or killed in some other dreadful manner.

It is estimated that thousands of people are involved in professional dogfighting, and even more in informal fights. In the United States, dog-fighting in all 50 states is now considered a felony. Dogs forced to fight are often kept penned or chained, and are taunted and starved in order to trigger extreme survival instincts that encourage aggression.

Training includes forcing dogs to tread water in pools or run on a treadmill while caged rabbits or other animals are dangled in front of them. Many dogs are injected with steroids, and others have their teeth sharpened, or their ears cut off to prevent the competitor dogs from latching on.

This merciless event can go on for hours—until both animals are exhausted and at least one is seriously injured or dead.

Network for Animals is committed to doing all it can to mitigate this horrendous abuse across the world.

“It is our aim to save and help as many mistreated dogs as we possibly can. We also try to educate people about this atrocity that has been seriously overlooked by authorities. Despite being illegal in many places, it continues to happen and seems to be on the increase in places like South Africa,” said NFA chief campaigner, David Barritt.

Pet abandonment is another huge problem, one that contributes to dog fighting. People often abandon their animals because they no longer want them or can’t afford to keep them. If the animals are ‘lucky,’ they end up at overcrowded shelters. To give some perspective, in America alone, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there just aren’t enough adoptive homes.

Those that don’t make it to a shelter become street dogs, where to add to the problems of hunger and disease, they face being kidnapped and used as bait dogs in dog fighting. The dog is thrown into a fighting ring and then attacked by other dogs so that gamblers can assess which of the dogs is the most aggressive.

You can find out more about Network for Animals and our Dogs in Distress campaign by clicking here.