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Taking Action to Stop Dogfighting

How to spot the signs and what you can do


dog pitbull lying-- ALDF uses this photo on its website


Although the Michael Vick dogfighting case focused the national spotlight on dogfighting cruelties, dogfighting has long been a thriving underground industry across the country in both urban and rural areas. Our work has these criminals on the defensive, but there are still many ways you can help.

What you can do

1. Spread the word about our $5,000 reward by ordering a free reward action pack, which includes posters, postcards, brochures, and stickers with information about our reward for you to post around your neighborhood. You can also download our dogfighting poster [PDF] and print it out.

2. Help take a bite out of dogfighters. Urge your local radio station to run one of our public service announcements (available in English or Spanish) about our standing $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction of illegal dogfighting.

3. You can also fundraise for local bus ads, billboards, and PSA placements. Fundraising is a great way to get the kids involved: Have them hold a bake sale or car wash.

4. Do you have friends who offer services or own stores? Have them donate half their proceeds of a weekend toward our Animal Cruelty Response and Reward Fund

5. Educate the masses (or at least your circle of friends). Order a copy of our educational video, "Life on the Chain, Death in the Ring," and invite your friends over for a viewing party. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and there is no better way to get people motivated to do something than to let them see the problem. Host a party and then split into groups to plaster the city with reward posters.

6. Want to go further? Have an official viewing in a church or other public area (with permission, of course), and advertise the event. What a way to build a local coalition!

7. If you live in a state where dogfighting penalties are deficient, write to your state legislators and urge them to upgrade the law. Wherever you live, urge your local, state, and Congressional representatives to support better funding for enforcement of animal fighting laws.

8. Learn about our grassroots End Dogfighting Campaign, and get involved.

9. Sign up to receive The HSUS's email alerts to get the latest news about our efforts to combat animal cruelty.

10. Put a dedicated team on the animals' side by donating to our Animal Cruelty Response and Reward Fund.

11. Write letters to the editor about the cruelty and dangers of dogfighting.

12. Make friends with your sheriff, and bring animal fighting issues to his attenton. Call or visit your local law enforcement office and bring them animal fighting reward posters. Even better, present law enforcement with statements from local animal control or shelter workers regarding the signs they see of animal fighting in the community.

13. Let your sheriff know about The HSUS's day-long training courses for law enforcement on animal fighting, with experts who discuss the signs of animal fighting and how to eradicate it. Once your sheriff is serious about cracking down on dogfighting and cockfighting, word will quickly spread that your town is no safe haven for animal fighters.

14. Post our dogfighting video on your website, blog, or social networking profile like Facebook to raise awareness about dogfighting.

15. If you suspect dogfighting in your own neighborhood, alert local law enforcement. Urge your local officials to contact The HSUS for practical tools, advice, and assistance. The HSUS has a standing reward—now doubled to $5,000—for information leading to a conviction of illegal dogfighting.

How to spot signs of dogfighting in your community

  • An inordinate number of pit bull-type dogs being kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are chained and seem unsocialized
  • Dogs with scars on their faces, front legs, and stifle area (hind end and thighs)
  • Dogfighting training equipment such as treadmills used to build dogs' endurance, "break sticks" used to pry apart the jaws of dogs locked in battle, tires or "springpoles" (usually a large spring with rope attached to either end) hanging from tree limbs, or unusual foot traffic coming and going from a location at odd hours

Download our "How to spot signs of dogfighting" flyer [PDF]

Updated December 2013

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