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November 25, 2013

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

Since the far-reaching, multi-state dogfighting raid in late August – involving 13 locations and the seizure of 367 dogs – your HSUS Animal Rescue Team and animal fighting experts have been doing all sorts of follow up on this and other cases. They have been on the ground for three additional raids, seizing another 42 dogs that had been destined for fighting pits. One of our animal fighting experts was instrumental in bringing the 14th suspect to justice and worked closely with the FBI in the days leading up to the seizures in Dothan and Abbeville, Ala.

Our experts are regularly called upon by state, local and federal law enforcement to provide intelligence on dogfighting activities at home and abroad. We also have a reward program that allows people to get money for providing information to us on illegal animal fighting activities. And our investigators do their best to penetrate these criminal networks. The HSUS Dogfighting Rescue Coalition not only serves as our placement program for the many dogs we rescue each year, but also oversees behavior and enrichment programs for these animals.

Dogfighting raid
Meredith Lee/The HSUS

The dogs from our raids in the Southeast are being held as evidence at an HSUS-run temporary shelter where they have been receiving veterinary care, enrichment and affection from our many animal rescue volunteers and Animal Rescue Team staff. The personnel sit and read to the shy dogs during enrichment time and the more exuberant dogs are given extra exercise and active enrichment in four play yards. Puppies are given exercise time and are learning how to be well-mannered in hopes of preparing them for their future homes. We also have many dogs with special medical needs who are settling into “quiet rooms” that we constructed at the temporary shelter. As the dogs have realized that they are safe – that food, water and treats are coming, and that people can mean good things – they are beginning to grow and flourish. And they are realizing that they don’t need to attack other animals to gain favor from people.

At the same time, we are working hard in Congress to secure enactment of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, to build on the existing federal law against animal fighting by making it a crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight. With strong partisan support in both chambers, that provision should be enacted as part of the Farm Bill, if the Congress takes final action on that larger measure.

When it comes to animal fighters, our motto at The HSUS is “nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”

Watch video footage from the latest raid HERE:

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