Dog Fighting is a subculture, concealed in the bowels of World social history, that tends to reveal the primitive nature of people.
Dog Fighting is one of those sports that rarely emerges from the darkened shadows of our society and into the media. It only is revealed at moments when you hear of some famous person who was involved in this illegal activity. Well known in U.S. gambling news was the indictment involving Michael Vick, NFL Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2007, Vick was tried for criminal activity that included dog fighting. Actually he operated a dog fighting operation in out of his Virginia property.
• Dog fighting exists in underground
• Top dogfights could net $100,000
• Dog fighting is hundreds of years old
• Dog fighting was supported by aristocracy.
Dog fighting is a sport involving two dogs, put against each other in an enclosed ring. It is popular in rural areas often occurring in barn, outdoor pits. More organized dog fights occur in urban areas than people realize. Garages, basements, warehouses, abandoned buildings, back alleys or neighborhood playgrounds are not uncommon venue for dog fighting.
It is difficult to determine the accurate figures for the revenue of the dog fighting industry due to its apparent obscurity. Top dog fights have been known to generate as much as $100,000. CNN estimated that there are approximately 40,000 people involved as professionals in commercial dog fighting. In addition, 100,000 people are involved in dog fighting as non-professions or enthusiasts. Revenue from dog fighting comes from three areas: entrance fees, stud fees and gambling.
A Brief History
Dog fighting has been in practice for over six hundred years. The earliest accounts date bay to 3rd century China. Although it reached its peak during the 16th century, it’s still popular today. The use of dogs in war dates back to 43 AD when the Romans fought the Britons. The English Mastiffs the Britons made such a positive impression, the Romans started to have them imported for use in the colosseum.
Throughout the middle ages leading up to the 19th century bear baiting and bull baiting were popular. The first involved dogs being matched against bears and the latter against bulls. These sports quickly became popular among the English aristocracy who had direct control of military facilities which included animals for combat. Queen Elizabeth I was a big fan of bear and bull baiting with her own fighting dogs she’d entertain foreign guest with.
King James I, the next on the throne, had number bear gardens in London used for bear, bull and the combat of other wild animals. As the bears became reduced due to decrease in population, their value went up and thus the value of the bouts. Bull baiting was such an accepted practice among Brits, butchers would be fined if their fresh meat hadn’t been victimized by a “baiting” contest the day before.
Modern Day Practices
Although Dog Fighting didn’t reach the U.S. during colonial times, it wasn’t until the end of the Civil War that its interests grew. It wouldn’t be long before it was typical for railway lines to advertise special fares for trips to dog fighting events. The Brits who were dog fighters but couldn’t work after dog fighting was abolished in the UK in 1835, helped flourish the industry in the U.S.
Animal Cruelty laws came into effect in 1867. In the 20th century, dog fighting still had a pulse. Early on policemen and firemen, who saw dog fighting as a form of entertainment, helped its expansion. Dog fighting has been seen as a hobby amongst the elite and a more central role in the lives of the working class. It has been suggested that working class men who lack the ability to exert their masculinity through material wealth use dog fighting as an alternative.
It has been suggested that one can earn more form dog fight than from an armed robbery. Not only is this activity illegal according to US gambling laws, its cruel nature is illegal in itself. A great many dogs, born, stolen or bought, are abused from the beginning. These dogs are kept in solitude, deprived of social skills and human attention in order to make their dispositions less pleasant. Also, they are given limit rations of water and good in order for them to maintain their thirst, hunger and savagery.