Plight of the Pitbull

Posted by Maddie Johnson

Featured image by stiv xyz

Pit bulls are routinely forced to fight one another for the twisted amusement of humans. At just ten weeks old Oogy was tied to stake and used as bait for a larger pit bull, he was inflicted with mortal wounds to the left side of his face and was left for dead. Oogy was found by police in a cage and bleeding profusely from multiple wounds to the left side of his face. Police raced him to a local animal hospital in attempt to save the young puppy’s life, doctors operated for multiple hours to sew up what was left of his face and ear. Oogy survived but lost his left ear. Oogy was lucky in the fact that he was adopted into a loving family and made a full recovery, many pit bulls do not survive.

What is a Pit bull?

A “pit bull” is not an actual breed of dog . Pit bulls are a cross between a bulldog and a terrier. The term pit bull is used to describe a wide range of dogs including the Staffordshire bull terrier, American pitbull terrier, American staffordshire terrier, and any mix between them. Pit bulls are characterized by their large heads, weighing between 30-60 pounds, and having a very muscular build. Pit bulls were originally bred for bear and bull baiting, until this practice was made illegal in the 19th century. During the late 19th to the early 20th century pit bulls were used to care for children. They were called “nanny dogs”  due to their caring and loyal personality.

Are pit bulls born fighters?

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Photo by Matthias Zomer

There are two standpoints on the debate of pit bull aggression. People often believe that it is a pit bull’s biology to blame for their aggression, or that the aggression is caused by the owner’s mistreatment of the pit bull. When owners fail to properly socialize pit bulls this causes unnecessary aggression in pit bulls. A pit bull that has been properly socialized is often very gentle and caring towards humans. Pit bulls are also assisting people with disabilities as service dogs. It was not until the early 1980’s that pit bulls were considered to be a threat to humans, this was largely due to the media and misinformation. The media was able to convince the public that pit bulls were vicious creatures that had a natural urge to attack. As of January 18, 2016, a disturbing event took place in Atlanta Georgia, in which one child was killed and one child was mauled as the result of a group of pitbulls. These Animal activists knew that this portrayal of the breed was false. Activist groups such as Team Pit-a-full have tried to changed the public’s view of pit bulls, but have largely been unsuccessful.

Painful truth of dog fights

The “sport” of dog fighting is filled with violence and the inhumane treatment of the animals involved. Pit bulls in this industry are bred to be vicious fighters, the meaner the better. The dogs who refuse to fight are often used as “training” for other pit bulls. Fights between pit bulls often result in one or both dogs suffering:

  • severe bruising
  • internal bleeding
  • broken bones
  • severe blood loss
  • puncture wounds
  • torn flesh
  • missing teeth
  • death

Illegal dogfights are commonplace in underground crime rings. Gangs are often associated with dogfighting rings. People will bet on which dog they believe will win in order to gain bragging rights, money, and/or drugs; and then the dogs will be released into a ring or pit where they are then forced to fight. For the young children who are  present at these fights, it often causes:

  • insensitivity to animal suffering
  • disrespect for the law
  • illegal gambling or other illegal activities
  • tolerance for violence

What can be done?

Organizations such as the Humane Society are working tirelessly in order to put an end to the suffering that the industry of dog fighting has created for countless pit bulls. Bringing awareness to the topic of dog fighting using fundraisers, radio/billboard ads, and or posters are all great ways to do your part in ending the horrors that these pit bulls have to face everyday. Other groups are trying to unravel these dog fighting rings in order to rescue and rehabilitate these pit bulls. There are rewards being offered to anyone who has information that could lead to the uncovering of these dog fighting groups.

 

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