The vicious blood “sport” of dogfighting is still thriving underground, despite the public outrage that followed the Michael Vick case. The HSUS estimates more than 40,000 people participate in organized dogfighting in the U.S., and hundreds of thousands more take part in impromptu street dogfighting. Blood thirsty Hip hop stars, drug dealers, wealthy gamblers, gang leaders attend and big money is made. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is committed to rescuing the dogs and bringing their offensive owners to justice. They offer a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting. Your name, telephone number and personal information will be kept private.
One of the biggest dogfighting busts ever in the United States proved how important insider information is in cracking animal-fighting cases. Federal authorities used information provided by tipsters to make their case against dogfighters in six states and take custody of more than 450 alleged fighting dogs.
If you suspect someone is fighting dogs call 911 and 1-877-TIP-HSUS.
If you find dog fighters on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform, DO NOT ENGAGE with them. Engaging with them lets them know you know what they are doing and could cause them to remove their page. By removing their page they are removing vital evidence. Evidence is what is needed in order to have them investigated and an investigation is what is needed in order to have them arrested. AND… they have to be arrested in order to be convicted.
Take screen shots of their accounts and gather as much information as possible on them. If you can find their whereabouts, report them to their local authorities 1-877-TIP-HSUS. All tips leading to an arrest or conviction will get up to a $5000 reward, so the more information you can provide, the better.
Remember to stay safe, but if you are able to video tape, take photos, or gather other important evidence, that is also helpful. Some of the country’s biggest busts have been made because of private tips.
It is important to remember to be patient and diligent. If you call and something isn’t done immediately, do not give up. Keep calling, keep reporting. Tell others to do the same. You may be the only chance these voiceless victims have.
Although the number of calls fluctuates from week to week (news coverage of a large animal fighting bust often spurs an influx of calls), the types of calls vary—coming from both rural and urban areas, motivated either by a desire to collect reward money or a genuine concern for animal welfare, or both. They can be generally sorted into three categories:
- Citizens concerned about a single neglected and/or injured-looking pit bull-type dog
- Citizens concerned about suspicious activities at a residence where a large number of chained or kenneled pit bull-type dogs are kept
- Citizens with an inside lead on an already notorious dogfighter or cockfighter
How to spot signs of dogfighting in your community:
- An inordinate number of pit bull-type dogs being kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are chained and seem unsocialized
- Dogs with scars on their faces, front legs, and stifle area (hind end and thighs)
- Dogfighting training equipment such as treadmills used to build dogs' endurance, "break sticks" used to pry apart the jaws of dogs locked in battle, tires or "springpoles" (usually a large spring with rope attached to either end) hanging from tree limbs, or unusual foot traffic coming and going from a location at odd hour
REPORT IT AND GET A REWARD IF IT LEADS TO A CONVICTION
If you have information about a potentially animal fighting operation it is better to report it whether or not you are sure.
Here are the steps to take:
Call your local police department or animal control agency. Give them as many details as you can about the suspected animal fighting operation. You do not need to give your name to law enforcement to report your information. Tell the law enforcement agency about The HSUS's reward program.
You can also call HSUS's animal fighting tip line at 877-TIP-HSUS with information about possible animal fighting activity.
Note: In order to qualify for the rewards program, this must be an open case. Additionally, law enforcement officers (including ACOs and humane officers) are not eligible for the HSUS's rewards program.
Get a letter from law enforcement. If the suspected animal fighter is convicted, ask the law enforcement agency involved in the case to write a letter to The HSUS. The letter should state that your tip helped lead to the arrest and prosecution. The letter should be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.