Dog-fighting is banned throughout the United States and is a felony in 50 states. There are tough penalties for those people caught breeding dogs for fighting.
Yet, it still happens and is often hard to infiltrate as these dog fighting operations often take place in remote areas and involve a huge network of offenders.
Responding to several tip-offs, animal welfare officers in Missouri spent 12 months investigating until finally they were able to rescue these poor, tortured animals.
It’s reportedly the biggest dog fighting bust in U.S. history.
Officers expected to rescue more than 200 dogs, but eventually they had taken in 400 fighting dogs who were all in terrible condition.
In the video below animal welfare officers were close to tears recounting the state of these animals. Read on to find out what happened after they rescued them from these inhumane conditions.
The breakup of this horrific dog fighting breeding and fighting operation took 12 months to investigate but animal welfare officers were aware of the problem a decade ago.
“Over the last at least ten years the humane society became very aware that dog fighting was thriving in Missouri,” said Debbie Hill, Humane Society of Missouri’s VP of Operations.
“Because dog fighting is such a secretive underground criminal activity it’s extremely hard to infiltrate these groups and gather the firsthand evidence needed to bring them to justice.”
When they discovered the animals, they had missing limbs, eyes and ears and were chained with heavy collars in remote parts of a forest, covered in injuries and scars, some infected.
“Dogs are literally tortured every day in order to force them to fight for their lives simply for the entertainment and greed of their owners and it happens over and over and over,” said an emotional Debbie.
Because of the nature of this operation they had to secure a place for these dogs in secret.
More than half the dogs can find new homes
“We had the daunting task of creating a shelter for at least 250 fighting pit bulls, ultimately we brought in 407 of those dogs, and we literally were having to do everything on the fly,” Debbie explained.
They were told that maybe 5 to 10 percent of these animals could be rehabilitated and found loving homes but officers were able to determine nearly 60 percent that could be properly restored to health.
Debbie reached out to rescue centers across the nation and now more than half of these animals have a chance to find the loving homes they deserve!
Some people may find scenes in the below video upsetting.
A big HIGH FIVE to all the people involved in destroying this dog fighting ring!
Please share with others to highlight this horrific and cruel practice.