Lawmen Say It Was a Sickening Scene

Sickening. That's the word officials with the Beaufort County sheriff's office are using to describe an organized dog fight they're investigating.

Lawmen have seized seven dogs believed to be used in dog fighting at a property on Frederick Road in Chocowinity. Lieutenant Kenneth Watson from the Beaufort County sheriff's department says eight people from three states were arrested. Three of them are from Eastern Carolina.

Sheriff's deputies say this is the first time officers have found a dog fight that had just occurred, which in turn has yielded them evidence that could help them shut down an organized dog fighting operation. Watson says investigators also found medical supplies used to pump the dogs up so they could fight again. Extended Web Coverage

Dogfighting Fact Sheet

What is dogfighting?

Dogfighting is a "contest" in which two dogs — specifically bred, conditioned, and trained to fight — are placed in a pit (generally a small arena enclosed by plywood walls) to fight each other, for the spectators' gambling and entertainment. Fights average nearly an hour in length and often last more than two hours. Dogfights end when one of the dogs is no longer willing or able to continue.

Is dogfighting a felony?

Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the federal Animal Welfare Act prohibits the interstate transportation of dogs for fighting purposes. It is a felony in 46 states, but is only a misdemeanor in Idaho, Iowa, West Virginia and Wyoming.

How does dogfighting cause animal suffering?

The injuries inflicted and sustained by dogs participating in dogfights are frequently severe, even fatal. The American pit bull terriers used in the majority of these fights have been specifically bred and trained for fighting and are unrelenting in their attempts to overcome their opponents. With their extremely powerful jaws, they are able to inflict severe bruising, deep puncture wounds, and broken bones.

Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight. Other animals are often sacrificed as well. Some owners train their dogs for fights using smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, or small dogs. These "bait" animals are often stolen pets or animals obtained through "free to good home" advertisements.

What effects can the presence of dogfighting have on people and animals in a community?

Dogs used for fighting have been bred for many generations to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals. The presence of these dogs in a community increases the risk of attacks not only on other animals but also on people. Children are especially at risk, because their small size may cause a fighting dog to perceive a child as another animal.

Young children are also sometimes present at the events, which can promote insensitivity to animal suffering, enthusiasm for violence, and a lack of respect for the law.

What can I do to help stop dogfighting?

If you suspect that dogfighting is going on in your own neighborhood, alert your local law enforcement agency and urge agency officials to contact The Humane Society for practical tools, advice and assistance.

Source: (The Humane Society of the United States)