Dog fights – Innocents inside the Ring, Savages Outside

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Dogfight. No we are not talking about the display of aggression between dogs for a territory or regarding a female dog. We are talking about a sickening amusement which is pursued by some really deranged minds. Over here the fights between dogs are fixed up by human beings for their entertainment and gambling purposes.

An owner’s pride (arrogance, to be precise) and lots money are at stake. Two dogs are made to fight each other and are expected to fight till death regardless of their torn flesh and broken bones. The horrific blood sport, illegal at most places, is practiced all around the world in varying degrees. It is practiced secretly with most of the planning and organising taking place via social media.

Dog fighting in India

The existence of the abominable dogfight in India was mainly traced to Punjab and Haryana till now. But the recent revelation of the ‘…after fight’ picture of a seemingly injured dog by a person from Jhajjar, Haryana has resulted in reports of such brawls in metros like Delhi and Jaipur as well.

dog fight outside home

The atrocious picture has been liked and shared for over 100 times. And this is not a one-off incident, reports regarding another such picture on Facebook surfaced in 2012 as well (Click here for the news report).

In India, Pit Bulls and Bully Kutta (or Indian Alangu Mastiff) are the most common dogs which are used in the despicable clashes.

Serious Injuries and Death

An animal loses if it dies or submits to the stronger opponent. Nevertheless, both the dogs are susceptible to being gravely injured or maimed during the fight. Also, it is not uncommon for both the parties, winning and losing, to pass away because of their injuries.

Injury in Dogs

The dog who gave up during the fight is the one who is at risk of being disposed of by its owner. Giving up on aggression and bruising the owner’s ego are good enough reasons to deserve a cruel death. The poor, already battered, dog can be burnt, drowned, poisoned, electrocuted and have its head smashed to the wall.

 Rewards

Winning owner gets the prize money and prestige. The people who bet on the triumphant fighter get their money multiplied.

The value of a dog rises with the number of wins it registers under its name. A good record also makes them suitable for breeding, creating another line of tough fighters.

Training for Dogfights

If you think violence at the fights is the only ghastly thing about dogfights, you will shiver after reading this.

Every dog owner wants his dog to win. There are many ways that the owners use to make their dogs burly and tenacious. No effort is left, be it in choosing the right bloodline to docking ears and tails. Cutting short of tail and ears make the easily biteable parts inaccessible to the rival dog.

Some really terrible practices include making the dog wear heavy chains and adding extra weights on to it, even during leisurely walks; swimming in ice-cold water; running; pulling SUV tyres and so on. All this is supposed to build stronger and harder fighters. Small animals like live chicken, puppies and rabbits are used as baits to train the dog for fights and for upping their aggressiveness.

Aggression could also be built by making the dog exercise to the point of exhaustion, beating, giving harsh punishments, starvation and by keeping them tied most of the time.

Legal Action against Dogfights in India

With the efforts of animal activists, PETA India and the Animal Welfare Board of India (government advisory body), in 2014, Supreme Court of India passed a judgement that states that bulls must not be used as performing animals in Jallikattu, or any kind of bull fights or races. The decree also prohibited cockfighting, dogfighting and any other staged fights between animals or between humans and animals for entertainment.

State governments and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) are directed by the Supreme Court to protect the five freedoms of animals:

1) Freedom from hunger and thirst.

2) Freedom from discomfort.

3) Freedom from pain, injury and disease.

4) Freedom to express normal behavior.

5) Freedom from fear and distress.

What can you do?

Making of a law is easy, what is difficult is its implementation. The actual execution is where you, the general animal loving public, have a big role to play.

You are the eyes and ears of the law. Such blood sports are, usually, organised through word of mouth or through social media. Thus, you need to be vigilant, and remember that an active citizen is a good citizen. The blameless creatures have a right to live respectably, fully and happily.

Greed-driven human monsters need the most stringent of punishments. This madness must end!

To report any animal-related crime, please write to: whistleblower@petaindia.org

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