From an animal welfare point of view, dogfighting is one of the most serious forms of animal abuse. The dogs often suffer their entire lives from wounds and constant violence. A losing dog whose fighting potential is severely damaged is usually put to death by strangulation, drowning, hanging, gun shot, electrocution, or by some other method. “Bait” animals are often used to test a dog’s fighting ability and instinct. For example, trainers might use smaller dogs, or cats, or rabbits as bait for fighting dogs. The National Humane Society reports that some dog’s snouts are duct-taped to prevent them from biting back at dogs in training.
The secret culture of dog fighting is usually directed related to gang involvement and community violence. Dog fighting events are indeed criminalized, and so naturally at these events other criminal organizing takes place: drug distribution, racketeering, and other criminal enterprises. Just recently, American football player Michael Vick plead guilty to running a dogfighting ring which was conducted across state lines. At his ring was discovered piles of bloody carpet, and “rape stands” which are used to force unwilling female pit bulls mate. Michael Vick’s losing dogs were allegedly executed by being crushed or by electrocution. This is certainly cruel and unusual, and this is why protesters quickly gathered outside the National Football League’s HQ in New York. Michael Vick ought to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which is five years in prison and $250,000 in restitution, and this practice ought to be ended everywhere.