Dog fighting is an illegal practice in which two dogs, usually, pit bulls, are put into an enclosed area for the purpose of attacking and often, killing each other. On average, fights last about one hour, but sometimes last two hours or longer. The fight does not end until one of the dogs is no longer able or willing to continue fighting.

Injuries from dog fights are severe, often fatal. A dog that is not killed in a fight may still die of blood loss, shock, infections, or exhaustion after the fight has ended. If they live, they will still often suffer broken bones and crushed cartilage.

Dogs that are used for fighting are often subjected to severe abuse in order to make them vicious. Often, stolen animals are used in dog fighting. There have been cases of animal shelters being robbed of many large dogs, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, at one time. These dogs are chosen because they have exceptionally strong jaws.

The dogs actually used in fighting are not the only animals abused. Often, stolen pets, such as cats or smaller dogs, are used as bait or for practice. Occasionally, pets taken from free to good home ads are used for the same purpose.

Dogs that are trained for fighting, because they are trained to be vicious, are often very dangerous to humans. Children are especially at risk. Their smaller size often causes the dogs to mistake them for the animals they have been trained to maul and kill.

The sole purpose for this sick practice is profit and "entertainment". Spectators often make bets on which dogs will win. The owners of the dogs are also paid. Please help stop dog fighting! If you witness or suspect dog fighting in your area, contact your local law enforcement agency. Dog fighting is a felony is 43 states. Signs of possible dog fighting include one or several dogs or puppies chained with weights on their collars, and training dogs on suspended tires or other items.

A final word: Although the majority of dogs used in fighting are Pit Bulls, this does not mean that all Pit Bulls are vicious. You SHOULD be cautious of any Pit Bull if you do not know the animalís background, do not leave it unattended with a child or another pet. The dogs used in fighting are deliberately bred for bad temperament and trained to attack. However, pit bulls of proper breeding, with good training can be excellent companion animals.

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