|Why should you know how to recognize dog fighting? Because dog fighting is a FELONY IN IOWA and is linked to many other illegal and criminal activities. Law enforcement and animal welfare investigators report:
- Dog fighters are often involved in illegal gambling, the sale and possession of drugs, as well as illegal weapons.
- Dog fighters and spectators have a history of violent and criminal behavior toward people.
- Dog fighting is another entertainment activity for gangs.
- Dogs trained for fighting have been known to viciously attack innocent people for no apparent reason.
- Research shows young children who view this type of violence have a greater acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behavior. These children are taught to believe that it’s okay to inflict the cruelties they observe and that dog fighting is an acceptable practice.
Just because your neighbor owns a pit bull does not mean that he or she is a dog fighter.
Some of the serious signs of dog fighting are:
- ownership of several adult dogs and/or puppies that are confined by thick chains with or without weights on their collars
- tires or other items suspended from trees to provide jaw strengthening activities
- hand walking, jogging or putting the dog on a treadmill
- a “cat mill” which confines a cat, rabbit or other small animal and encourages the dog to chase it may be present, as a reward for its hard work the dog is permitted to capture and kill the confined animal
- people of all ages coming and going in groups from a residence or other site, some with dogs
Dog Fighting is not a “Seasonal Sport”
Men, women and children attend dog fights throughout the year. Dog fighting is not a “seasonal sport”. Virtually any area within the community can hold a dog fight. Look for:
- an abandoned house
- a vacant garage
- an isolated warehouse
- a commercial or residential basement
- a secluded park or open wooded area
- a farmhouse or barn
Observing adolescents and/or adults with dogs, going to or coming from a site, should peak your curiosity. The party like atmosphere surrounding a dog fight is noticeable. Spectators cheer for their chosen dog as the bets stack up. Growling and barking, especially if other breeds of dogs are being used, is sometimes recognizable.
Characteristics of Fighting Dogs
Dogs which have the appearance and characteristics of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier or any other breed commonly known as a pit bull may be used in dog fighting activities. Other large breeds of dogs may also be used for dog fighting. Dogs used in fighting often have observable characteristics:
- short cropped ears
- recent or long-standing wounds and abscesses, puncture wounds and lacerations
- scars on the head, throat, legs and ears
- wide leather or web collars with heavy rings
- bleeding dogs and/or blood stains in a confined area, severe wounds
REMEMBER, REPORTING DOG FIGHTING WILL REDUCE
VIOLENCE AND ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
Remember that violence, weapons and illegal activities go hand-in-hand with dog fighting. Report any suspected dog fighting by calling the S.T.A.R (Stop.The.Abuse.and Report.) Tip Line at 712-328-5737. Your report will be kept confidential to the maximum extent possible. It is up to you and your neighbors to spread the word that dog fighting is not acceptable!