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Dog fights are back in the news… again.

Shocking! That’s the only word that comes to mind when I hear the words “dog fighting”. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is busy with a crackdown on organised dog fighting rings across South Africa.

Dogs are set against each other to fight in all sorts of different “fighting rings” (e.g. empty swimming pools, homemade rings, abandoned warehouses, etc). Dogs refusing to fight, fleeing or submitting are often destroyed because they do not have the necessary aggression to fight another dog.

The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is the dog that is most often used in these dog fights, but there are off course many APBT owners who absolutely abhor the practice of fighting.

Fights can be anywhere between an hour or two in length, sometimes even longer, and will only end when one of the dogs will not or cannot continue. The APBT used in these fights have been specifically bred and trained for fighting and with their powerful jaws they are able to inflict a lot of damage on their opponent.

Dogs can off course be killed by the other dog but can also die of shock, exhaustion, blood loss or infection.

Some owners train their dogs for fights using smaller animals.

The Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society (AWS) are called out at least three times a week to dog fights in the area - the numbers must be far worse in the bigger cities. Young children are often spectators themselves, which can promote insensitivity to animal suffering and / or enthusiasm for violence.

The SPCA should be called immediately if you:
- see dogs being brought into properties in cages or
- see large groups of people coming and going with dogs.

All the best!

The Animal-Info Team

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