In one of the largest dog fighting crackdowns, 367 pit bulls were seized by authorities in Alamaba and Georgia. Over $500,000 was also confiscated because it is likely connected with betting on unlawful dog fights. A network of officials at several levels collaborated on the raids, which took place on Friday. Almost a dozen people were charged altogether.
“In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90 degree heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the property. Some appeared to have no access to water at all, and many exhibited wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dog fighting,” explained an ASPCA official. (Source: WQAD.com)
The dogs are now in ASPCA shelters and it is intended that they will all be rehabilitated.
Pit bull attack stories often make the news, because stories about violent events tend to draw attention, and the media exists to make money. The overall impression some people have of pit bulls is that they are all vicious, but this is not true. The ones that attack people usually have been abused, neglected or even trained to fight other dogs.
Still, there is some concern because pit bulls are sometimes intentionally bred to be dog fighters.
As the Animal Humane Society explains, “Socialization – exposing a puppy or young dog to unfamiliar people, places and things – is indispensable in creating good canine citizens, yet it may not be enough to prevent dog aggression in a pit bull. Potential owners must realize that this breed was developed, in part, to fight other dogs. Even among lines of dogs that have never been fought, dog aggression is always possible.” (Source: Animal Humane Society)
A professor emeritus at the UC-Davis Veterinary School said about 60% of dog attack fatalities each year are perpetrated by pit bulls, but they are less than 5% of the total dog population.
Some sources peg the number of yearly pit bull euthanizations at 900,000.