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National Dog Fighting Awareness Day: Shedding Light

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

April 8 marks National Dog Fighting Awareness Day, a poignant observance established in 2014 and held annually since.

Despite nationwide bans, the grim reality persists: dogfighting rings endure.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) designated this day as a crucial component of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month in April.

Its purpose: is to ignite awareness and mobilize action against this barbaric practice. Tragically, in these brutal contests, dogs are ruthlessly trained to maim or kill their opponents.

Worse still, losers are often forsaken and denied even basic medical care. Join the movement to end this cycle of cruelty.

History Of National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

The roots of dog fighting trace back to ancient times, notably to the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 A.D. Both Roman and British forces utilized dogs in battle, with the latter’s superior training impressing the Romans.

This admiration led to the importation of British fighting dogs for both warfare and entertainment, showcased in the grandeur of the Colosseum where they faced off against various animals.

The practice gained traction among the English nobility in the 12th century, evolving to include combat against chained bulls and bears.

As societal concerns grew regarding the scarcity of bulls and bears and the cruelty inflicted upon them, the British Parliament banned such activities in 1835, prompting a shift towards dog fighting.

Crossbreeding to create stronger breeds became a common practice.

With the importation of fighting dogs to the United States before the Civil War, the gruesome spectacle spread globally.

However, mounting concerns about animal abuse prompted legislative action. By the 1860s, most U.S. states had outlawed bloodsport.

The founding of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in 1866 marked a significant milestone in animal welfare advocacy.

In 1976, dogfighting was universally outlawed in the United States, although enforcement remained inadequate until research revealed links between dogfighting and other criminal activities.

In May 2007, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Act came into effect, imposing penalties of up to three years of imprisonment for each offense involving the interstate or foreign transport of animals for fighting purposes.

This legislation marked a significant step in combating the barbaric practice of animal fighting.

In December 2010, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) took a decisive stance by establishing a dedicated Blood Sports unit tasked with investigating and combatting animal fighting.

Collaborating closely with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, the ASPCA intensified efforts to root out this heinous activity.

The impact of these concerted efforts is evident. In 2017 alone, the ASPCA rescued over 300 dogs from 13 dogfighting operations spanning 11 states.

These actions underscore a commitment to safeguarding the welfare of animals and holding perpetrators of animal cruelty accountable for their actions.

5 Surprising Facts About Dogfighting

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

Over 16,000 dogs die every year

Every year, over 16,000 dogs tragically lose their lives to dog fighting in the U.S., according to estimates from animal rescue organizations.

However, due to underreporting, the true extent of this cruelty remains elusive.

Around 40,000 Americans participate each year

An alarming fact shows that about 40,000 people in the U.S. are involved in dog fighting each year.

This includes trainers, breeders, organizers, spectators, and even gamblers, according to different groups.

Weaker dogs are used as disposable targets

In the grim world of dog fighting, weaker dogs, labeled as ‘cold,’ are cynically utilized as disposable targets during training sessions for the ‘prize dog.’

This callous exploitation extends beyond the arena, with these animals often left to perish.

50% of police officers encounter dog fighting

Surprisingly common, a startling revelation from an F.B.I. study unveils that 50% of police officers in the U.S. have encountered instances of dog fighting during their careers, shedding light on the pervasive nature of this illicit activity.

Three N.F.L. players convicted for dog fighting

Three former N.F.L. players—Doug Atkins, LeShon Johnson, and Michael Vick—have been convicted for their involvement in this cruel practice of dog fighting, highlighting its diverse and far-reaching impact, which they are not immune to.

How to Celebrate National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

Spread Awareness on social media

Join the fight against dog fighting by using your social media platform to share informative articles, statistics, and personal stories.

Together, we can educate others about the harsh reality of this cruel practice and advocate for its end.

Ensure you learn the difference between dog fighting and playing to make the right decision.

Volunteer at a Local Animal Shelter

Make a difference in the lives of dogs rescued from dog fighting rings by volunteering at a local animal shelter.

Your time and compassion can help rehabilitate these animals and give them the love they deserve.

Organize a Fundraiser

Take action against dog fighting by organizing a fundraiser for an anti-dog fighting organization.

Whether it’s a charity walk, donation drive, or online campaign, your efforts can raise crucial funds and awareness to combat this inhumane practice.

Educate Yourself and Others

Arm yourself with knowledge about dog fighting and share it with others.

By debunking myths and misconceptions, we can empower people to recognize the signs of dog fighting and take a stand against it.

Knowledge is power in the fight for animal welfare.

Adopt a Rescue Dog

Consider giving a second chance to a dog rescued from a dog fighting ring by adopting from a shelter.

By providing a loving home, you not only give these powerful fighting dogs the chance to thrive but also support efforts to end dog fighting and promote compassionate treatment of animals.


Dog fighting remains a distressing reality, but together, we can make a difference.

By participating in National Dog Fighting Awareness Day on April 8, you can play a vital role in combating this tragedy.

Spread awareness, educate yourself and others about the signs of dog fighting, and take action by signing petitions or volunteering at shelters.

Consider opening your heart and home to a former dogfighter, offering them a chance at a better life. Let’s stand together to end the cruelty of dog fighting.

April 8 is approaching fast, so let’s be ready to make a difference this National Dog Fighting Awareness Day!

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