You may have heard of illegal dog fighting rings but thought it mostly happened in other countries, not here in Australia. 

While dog fighting is illegal in most countries, enforcement varies and underground dog fighting still happens far too often, with devastating results for the dogs. 

Even the dogs that aren’t killed are kept in appalling conditions with no access to food, water or shelter, and many dogs suffer horrific injuries and are left to die. 

It’s estimated there are at least 150 illegal dog fighting rings in Australia, and that number could be much higher. 

What is Dog Fighting? 

Dog fighting occurs in secret locations around the country and pits one dog against another, usually to the death, for entertainment and betting purposes. 

The fighting dogs are generally a type of Staffordshire terrier or pit bull terrier, and they’re starved, tortured, beaten and abused to make them highly aggressive.  

Often other animals, usually smaller dogs and cats, are used as bait to ‘train’ the fighting dogs and as a ‘reward’ if the dog does well. 

Stolen Pets 

To ensure a ready supply of dogs for ‘training’ purposes, or as opponents for the fighting dogs, people’s beloved companion pets are stolen and forced to fight.  

Once the fight is over, the pet is left to die in agony, shot, drowned, beaten to death, or even burned. 

Many classified advertisement websites such as Gumtree are updating their policies to ban ads offering free dogs or cats to good homes because the animals are being used for dog fighting rings. 

The Rise of Homeless Animals 

When animals that have been used in dog fighting are dumped, it increases the number of homeless animals wandering the streets and puts people at risk because the dogs are injured and in pain, and could easily attack, especially young children.  

It also strains our animal shelters and other resources which are already at full capacity in most cases and rely on donations and volunteer help. 

How to Protect your Pet 

Any animal is a potential target to these cruel and malicious people who have no qualms about taking an unattended pet. 

Keep your pets safe by always supervising their outdoor activities and keeping cats indoors if possible. If you own a breed of dog that’s favoured by dog fighting organisers, be extra vigilant and keep him close whenever you go out walking. 

If you have an unwanted dog or cat, or kittens and puppies, please don’t advertise them as free to a good home. You don’t know where they might end up or what terrible fate might await them. 

Sydney Animal Hospital and Specialist Vet 

Sydney Vet Specialists is dedicated to providing quality 24 hour veterinary care for your pets, as well as specialist services for a wide range of conditions. 

To speak to one of caring, professional team members, call us on 02 9197 5800, or contact us online 

Book an appointment for your pet between Monday and Friday 8:30am-6pm or call us for emergency veterinarian services and after hours care.