This Wednesday, approximately 450 dogs were seized during raids in seven states. Animal welfare groups call this the largest simultaneous raid of dogfighting operations in U.S. history.
Each rescued dog will be evaluated in hopes of placing as many as possible in adoptive homes.
Animal welfare advocates worked with federal authorities for 18 months on this seizure. So far, 26 people have been accused of cruelties ranging from denying animals medical treatment to shooting poorly-performing dogs in the head and disposing of their bodies into a river or burning them in a barrel.
Although no one can help but to feel that the world is a little brighter now that these 450 innocent animals finally have a chance for the safe and loving homes these deserve, this week’s seizure also puts the true size of the insidious problem of dogfighting into perspective. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that at least 40,000 people are involved in professional dogfighting, while hudreds of thousands more participate in urban and rural “street fighting.”
If no fewer than 40,000 people are keeping this horrific form of gambling and entertainment alive, imagine just how many dogs are involved.
Dogfighting operations typically are not small acts of animal cruelty, but part of organized criminal networks. When it’s not unusual for as much as $30,000 to change hands in a single dogfight, fully eradicating the industry will be an uphill battle.
Take action! Please send your note of thanks to the governors of the seven states who helped to make this historic raid a reality. Encourage them to continue to support the good work of their state attorney general, local officials and caring volunteers.