Brookhaven Animal Rescue Alliance Ltd, NFP
1. Record-Breaking Dog Fighting Raid Leads to Nearly 500 Rescues
More Than 400 Dogs Rescued from Horrific Life
Last week’s multi-state dog fighting raid, the largest federal and state agency crackdown
on dog fighting in U.S. history, has resulted in the rescue of nearly 500 dogs, most of
whom are Pit Bulls. At the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO), which is housing more than
400 dogs, 14 puppies were born last week, adding to the overall number of dogs seized.
The operation spanned eight states—Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas,
Nebraska and Mississippi—and news reports indicate that a total of 26 arrests have been
made. Because dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, if convicted of animal fighting
charges, those arrested each face up to five years in prison.
According to the ASPCA’s Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty Field
Services, who was on-site in Missouri, not all dogs seized in raids have been used directly
in fights. “Some are breeders—they do not fight, but produce litters of fresh fighters.
Others are bait dogs. They lack the bloodlust and so serve as punching bags in training fights.
Such dogs often get the worst of it.” Although the task of evaluating all of the seized dogs
will be enormous, Dr. Lockwood notes, "At the very least, we're honoring these animals by caring
The dogs are being sheltered in a secure St. Louis facility under the direction of HSMO’s
Animal Cruelty Task Force. Each dog has been examined by a veterinarian and has received an
individual medical plan. All have been microchipped and treated for parasites and continue
to receive nutritious food, fresh water and a safe place to sleep.
Meanwhile, additional aid is desperately needed. HSMO is actively seeking rescue groups who
can take in some of the dogs. During the next several weeks, a team of pet behavior experts,
including HSMO behavior staff, Dr. Lockwood and other ASPCA experts, will evaluate each dog
to determine suitability for possible placement with qualified rescue groups or experienced
A complete veterinary and behavior report for each dog will be submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s
office, which will provide information to the courts for the final determination for each animal.
Check HSMO’s website for rescue group qualifications. Interested groups should call HSMO
at (314) 802-5712.