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Dogfighting: How to Identify and Report It

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The signs of dogfighting can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look for.

According to the Humane Rescue Alliance, the key signs of dogfighting are:

  • Dogs kept outside on heavy chains and rotated throughout the yard
  • Dogs that leave and come back to the yard with injuries or scarring
  • Dogs frequently forced to run on a treadmill or use other conditioning tools for long periods of time

“If you see an animal that has scarring or open wounds around its legs, chest or around its face, those are usually indications it is involved in organized dogfighting,” HRA Humane Law Enforcement Officer Engel said.

The HRA arrested a D.C. man Thursday on animal cruelty charges for allegedly beating a pit bull puppy. In January 2019, they arrested a D.C. man on felony charges of dogfighting.

News4 reported on dogfighting arrests in early 2019 when the HRA arrested two men in connection with a dogfighting ring in Northeast D.C. At that time, a Humane Rescue Alliance spokesperson said dogfighting can be especially difficult to track down in D.C. because animals are often kept indoors.

If you see a dog in D.C. you suspect is being forced to fight, you can call the Human Rescue Alliance to report it. If you live in Maryland or Virginia, you should report it to your local law enforcement, according to the HRA.

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