Coalition for Animal Justice









The Companion Animal Protection Act

Dogfighting Takes Place In Every State Nationwide

Dogfighting can be found in every state in the US today. Many people are not aware that dogfighting goes on everyday right in their "own back yards". Dog owners go to extensive lengths to avoid law enforcement officials. Fighting rings are moved around daily to new locations and the dogfights continue without interruptions. Drug deals, illegal firearms, and money are often associated with dogfighting also. Gambling profits are so large for participants ranging from $10,000 - $100,000 for a single bet, that minor penalties associated with
misdemeanor charges are not enough to stop this cruelty. They merely absorb these fines as a part of doing business. It's nothing more than a slap on the hand.
Dogfighting, a violent and cruel form of entertainment, can draw crowds of over a hundred people cheering the dogs on. Two dogs are put in a small area called a "fighting pit" built out of plywood.The fight can last up to two hours, ending when one of the dogs is unable to finish, or is killed by the other. Surviving dogs often suffer for days follwing the fight from shock, severe injuries, blood loss, and infection.
Fighting dogs have been bred for many generations to be dangerously aggressive and are often trained with "bait animals" such as cats, rabbits, smaller dogs and puppies. Most bait animals are stolen or obtained through "free to good homes" advertisements.
Concerned by the increasing number of youths involved in dogfighting activities, former animal control officer Sue Sternberg decided to do something about it. In 2002, Sternberg started a program called "Lug-Nuts" that encourages inner-city teens to enter their dogs in weight pulling contests instead of fights.
"Weight pulling is a very macho sport, and it's incredibly humane" said Sternberg, who now runs a boarding, training and adoption kennel called Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption in northern New York State. Pets are encouraged to move forward with words of encouragement and tasty treats.
Contests are held monthly in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park, which normally draws about 15 entries and large crowds of onlookers. Winners receive cash prizes and pet supplies. The program also encourages owners to spay and neuter their animals and offers to pay for the surgical procedures.
New idea's such as this one can help steer our teenagers away from dogfighting and other crimes before it's too late. Absolutely Brilliant Sue Sternberg !!
--Sally Hayward, Vice President