The Amazing Transformation of Rescued Hog-Fighting Dogs

Dog-hog fights are often billed as “family entertainment,” but I have to wonder what kind of family would enjoy the sight of dogs chasing down trapped feral hogs, biting into their faces and pulling down the screaming animals.

“To give the dogs an advantage, handlers may outfit them in Kevlar vests, or cut the hogs’ tusks off,” according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “Dogs in training may be set upon helpless farm hogs. The hogs may die after dogs tear off their snouts, ears or jaws.”

Because they’re so cruel, these so-called “hog dog rodeos” are banned in six Southern states, including Alabama, where dozens of emaciated dogs were removed from an illegal hog-fighting dog breeding operation in January.

The 65 dogs – including puppies and old dogs in their teens – were in such horrible shape that they were immediately rescued by HSUS investigators and local police. Some of the starving dogs were huddled together in barrels and an old car. Others were on chains, outdoors in the dead of winter. The investigators saw no food or water bowls.

“The cruelty these dogs were shown is painful to see, and we couldn’t stand by and allow them to suffer,” Col. Jim Smith, public safety director for the town of Cottonwood, said at the time in a news release.

Most of the dogs rescued were dogos argentinos, along with two French bulldogs and one German shepherd.

Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting investigations for the HSUS, said the dogs were lucky that authorities responded so quickly. “With the recent cold temperatures and the dogs’ poor condition, they needed immediate attention,” he said in the news release.

The owner of the 65 dogs, Jerome Wesley Hughes, has not yet been charged with a crime, although the criminal case remains open, the Dothan Eagle reported in August. Hughes insists he was not involved in dog-hog fighting, and his starving dogs were naturally thin.

One of his “naturally thin” dogs, Violet, weighed only 40 pounds. The average weight for a healthy female dogo argentino is 80 to 100 pounds. Her fur was gone and her skin was infected. She had been bred multiple times.

The dogs were taken to a temporary shelter and provided with veterinary care, training and kindness.

“Trainers had to teach them the simple act of accepting food, along with other everyday skills such as walking on a leash,” the HSUS reported in a September news release. “Even just crossing a doorway was really tough.”

To help the dogs become accustomed to living in a loving home, they were introduced to new scents and items, and practiced walking on carpet, wood, linoleum and grass. The dogs also enjoyed cooling off by splashing in a kiddie pool.

“In the end, all these dogs really wanted was love,” the HSUS said.

Along with the other dogs, Violet was fed a high-calorie diet. Nine months after her rescue, she has gained 63 pounds, and is happy and healthy.


“Her coat is full, soft and brilliant white, her ribs no longer showing,” reports the HSUS. “After her rescue, she slept on a warm comforter for the first time in her life.”

Each of these dogs will soon be ready for forever homes. According to the HSUS, two of them are already with placement partners on the West Coast.

Please sign and share the petition asking for cruel dog-hog fighting to be banned in Missouri.

Photo credit: HSUS


Danuta W
Danuta Wabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Melania Padilla
Melania P3 years ago

Sick people should be in jail; animals are always the victims

Brian S.
Brian M3 years ago

Its not one dog its 6 or more the boar dont have a chance .or hogs .to let you see how sick tourists can be .they throw food to the hog on river embankment .so the hog goes for food .these bastards know the crocodile is there it jumps out bites half of its body it fights but crocodile drags it under water .if only someone would look for cruelty on internet you would get more convictions .there is no point in the people who are employed to help these animals .sit back and pretend its not that bad it is its brutal i forced my self to watch if any one does .you will feel sickened about this

Brian S.
Brian M3 years ago

Sorry .it was them who told me .america was behind them on killing hogs and boar with dogs .i know no good american would do this well done all the comments .stop this its sick

Brian S.
Brian M3 years ago

Its realy hard to see 6 dogs rip apart a boar or hog .the video of ex marines one joey flowers and troy injured as marines .god help the prisoners .i argued with them both from alabama they say the most humane way to kill hog after its been belted by sixdogs .is a knife through the heart .utter bullshit its shooting in head
Yes these are marines injured on duty if a hog or boar get a hold of dog its beaten on the mouth until it lets go so the dogs are free to rip it apart .in pakistan yes these muslims who dont eat pork have a hog in a round arena and six dogs they should all be shot .i cant beleive most of america are behind them

mari s.
Mari S3 years ago

How horrific, how immoral, how cruel, how merciless, how irrational == THIS BRUTALITY MUST STOP.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Andre Jackson
Andre Jackson3 years ago

The courts must incarcerate these MF'ERS and stop giving them slaps on the wrists!

Ann R.
Ann R3 years ago

I hope these idiots face criminal charges as should anyone else that participates in such cruelty involving animal fighting of any kind...spectators included! This is NOT okay or entertaining. If people think so then it proves their ignorance.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Signed. Cannot believe that this is considered entertainment. Bull fighting in Spain reconsidered cruel and activists fight against it. This isn't any better.