Wednesday, April 9, 2014

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

Today was National Dog Fighting Awareness Day and we sure hope that everyone will do their part to help end this evil torturous bloodsport.  When you hear the words “dog fighting,” the first individual that comes to mind is Michael Vick.  This person is someone whom we will never forgive for the pain and suffering he caused to so many innocent victims.  But the reality to this is that there are many more evil monsters like him throughout the world.  And without everyone's help and support to make a difference, this will continue.


Charlie - Used As Bait and Lost His Eyes
There are many breeds that are actually used throughout the world like the Dogo Argentino, Presa Canario, Kangal, Tosa Inu, and Fila Brasileiro, but the dogs of choice in the United States are the American Pit Bull Terrier and  other Pit Bull Types.  The sad part is that no animal is safe when it comes to dog fighting. Other dog breeds, such as owned pets or strays may be stolen, or Craigslist "FREE TO GOOD HOME", fall victim to this horror by being used as bait, also known as "blood bait", to train the fighting dogs in preparation for the fights and often suffering before they die. Charlie, shown in the photo to the left, fell prey to being used as bait and when he was found, his injuries were so severe that he lost his eyes and had indications of his muzzle being tied shut.  Charlie is one of the lucky ones who survived thanks to the wonderful dedication of his caregivers and his new human mom, Linda.  Unfortunately and sadly, they are all not so lucky.
Another Victim

Dogs involved in dog fights are often severely injured--or killed--during the fight. These fights may last for hours until one of the animals quits or dies. Furthermore, these animals do not receive veterinary attention. Losers that do not die may be tortured, starved to death, or even killed outright by their owners.

Dog fighting promotes crime, such as cruelty to animals, violence to others, theft, drug use/possession/distribution, illegal weapons use/possession, and gambling. It also creates fear in our neighborhoods of being attacked or killed by dogs, as well as fear of people who use fighting dogs to intimidate others. Recently convicted dog fighters in Chicago have criminal records that include such significant crimes as assault/battery, arson, weapons charges, burglary, drug charges, and attempted murder.

Exposure to dog fighting can have a direct effect on our children. But beyond these immediate dangers, violence that is condoned and encouraged, such as in these fights, can effect children (as well as adults) by promoting a desensitization to the suffering others. They show that an acceptance of violence is a "norm."


Dog-Fighting has a negative effect on many aspects, but most of all to the animals involved. These innocent animals suffer at the hands of ignorance. Anti-DogFighting Campaign has been created to help put an end to this suffering by campaigning to stop dog fighting and end the use of bait dogs.


The staff of the Anti-DogFighting Campaign devotes our time to investigate dog fighting in locations of high activity, reported locations, reported website pertaining to dog fighting and profiles / pages / groups from Facebook which contain dog fighting. We work with police departments, authorities animal welfare agencies and animal welfare organizations worldwide to save the animals in danger, as well as seeking justice for the animals who have suffered from this issue at the hands of these offenders.

The ADFC is working with organizations worldwide such as HSUS, ASPCA, SPCA International, International Humane Society, Animal welfare agencies and organizations worldwide, Worldwide Law Enforcement, Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation (Actress), RSPCA Qld, ALDF and National District Attorneys Association. These organizations monitor us and the President/CEO does have meeting with these individuals on a regular basis. We also work with police departments, animal control officers, anti-dogfighting task forces worldwide and international governmental organizations.

The Anti-DogFighting Campaign staff also battle in legislative changes in laws regarding dog fighting and the need for animal abuse offender registries. We work hard to convince state officials and worldwide officials to see the horrors and dangers of dog fighting and how these changes are a must.

The Anti-DogFighting Campaign staff are also very involved in promoting the awareness of an ongoing trend of dog fighting and the suffering of animals used as bait. We take part in expos, public speaking and educational awareness to help the public better understand the severity of this issue and the need to report any suspected activity.

The Anti-DogFighting Campaign DOES NOT support closing down pages of animal abuse.  Removing these pages only hides this from your view but the animals are continuing to suffer and the offenders are continuing to get away with the crimes. Everyone may hate to "see" the photos, but the animals are the ones who have to "feel" the pain. These pages are the ONLY link to where these animals are located and the ONLY way to get help to these animals. These pages are evidence that can be used in courts to make sure that offenders are prosecuted. And removing the pages only makes the jobs of those of us who work hard to get justice for the animals, animal welfare organizations, police departments, animal control, lawyers, officials,....all of us. These pages should be used for evidence in the courts and these pages should be used to convince our state officials and overseas country officials that these crimes are being committed, how extreme the issue is, the damage that it is causing and the need for the laws to be changed and harsher penalties to be handed down to offenders. Why not use the pages to the advantage to save animals and punish offenders rather than hide them just because it's hard for us to see.

Remember:  Springpoles and Treadmills are also used for conditioning of all dogs.  This applies when all other signs are present as well.  Springpoles and Treadmills are an excellent source of condition if done properly.

If you suspect dog fighting, please reach out to authorities and contact the Anti-DogFighting Campaign.  No animal should ever endure this kind of suffering and the only way to help all the countless victims, is for all of us to ban together and end dog fighting. They never asked for this life, they were forced into it and they only wanted to be loved.  Please join us in this battle and help us put an end to the suffering of these victims and lets get these offenders punished for their crimes.  

These animals fight just to survive....
The Anti-DogFighting Campaign Fight To Save Them

Written By:
Patricia Miles
Anti-DogFighting Campaign President & CEO

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Good Things About Dogs - Abbi Fairclough

Some of our kids have decided to follow in our footsteps and help promote for an end to dog fighting from a kids standpoint and help other kids to learn that dog fighting is torture and teach them to report dog fighting.  They do have a page which they have created to help promote awareness.  Please check out their page and give them a Like and show your support.  Please remember, this page is a kid friendly page.  It is an honor for us to see our kids taking a stand to be the "Young Voices For The Victims".

Hello my name is Abbi Fairclough and I work with the kids of the anti dog fighting campaign (KADFC). I'm here to tell you about what kind of good things dogs can do. Dogs can be loyal pets or just simple strays, but these are just some good things dogs can do and some things certain dogs have done.


most dogs will act instinctively to protect there territory, either by barking to warn off a intruder or by attacking them. Certain dogs are bred specifically for guarding, such as German shepherds, Pit bulls and Staffordshire terriers,and these are most likely to attack in response to a perceived threat. That does not rule out other breeds though, particularly if the dog feels they are defending someone or something they consider to be part of there 'pack' – usually there owner or other people and animals they live with.


The term 'pit bull' is used to describe several different breeds of dog, most commonly the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier.

Pit bulls have a reputation for being dangerous and aggressive, as these animals often fall into the hands of irresponsible people, who may only be interested in owning the dog because of the 'macho image' connected to them. There bad reputation stems from there history as fighting dogs.  But that is a "history".  These animals are what we as humans make them.  Be a responsible and loving owner, that is exactly what your dog can be.


For some dogs, the instinct is to protect there pack and territory knows no limits. There is something deeply touching about a dog putting its own life at risk and taking a animal/creature much larger then its self, such as a bear or a wolf, or a potentially deadly creature such as a snake, in attempt to protect its human owner from harm, though, its when a dog acts in this way to protect a person it barley knows.

 Kids Of The Anti-DogFighting Campaign Facebook Page:

The Anti-DogFighting Campaign


If you suspect dog fighting, please contact authorities and The Anti-DogFighting Campaign.  They fight to survive....The Anti-DogFighting Campaign Fight To Save Them! Be A Voice For The Victims!

Van Gogh—Vinnie the Bait Dog

Resilience is the speedy recovery from problems. The ability to recover quickly from setbacks, to be like elasticity, the ability to spring back quickly into shape after being bent, stretched, or deformed. This is the word used to describe this poor 5 month year old puppy who was dumped at the end of January 2014 and left to die as a mangled bait dog. The term “Resilience” was given by the soft hearted people at Associated Humane Essex County located in Newark, New Jersey and also the people at Popcorn Park Zoo. 

His name is Van Gogh he was found by a good Samaritan, Van Gogh was left to die in this winters zero degree weather, in a box, by Weequahic’s park. When he was found his ears were completely ripped off, and he had traumatic injuries to his head. He had advanced infections in both his front legs due to open wounds that were left untreated for days. His hind legs were also damaged, one back leg was badly fractured for sure. Severe chest injuries were present affecting his lungs, but thanks to the AHS Newark medical department team, they took charge and performed emergency treatment on Van Gogh. 

Unfortunately, after his medical attention Van Gogh, was unable to walk, and could only recover laying down, in which the sweet angels caring for him provided lots of blankets, pain medicine, and lots of love. As his recovery continued Dr. Laney Baris continued to treat, and monitor this little pup, but he now was battling infection that had gone beyond his wounds. As Van Gogh, gradually got stronger, and began to eat healthier meals, he became the very definition of Resilience. Although his strength is returning slowly, he has a long recovery to full capacity, Van Gogh will need to have more surgeries done for his hips. Due to the massive damage that had occurred during his attacks, and his determination to live, he currently struggles with his backside. Please continue to pray for Van Gogh’s recovery, bait dogs are a horrific act used in dog fighting. Please help us to stop this cruelty, no dog deserves this kind of treatment.

 ** Written By:  Stephanie Ambler **

            ADFC Dog Fighting/Bait Dog Victim Research Team
If you suspect dog fighting, please contact authorities and contact the Anti-DogFighting Campaign.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

History of the Kangal Dog

Beyond Kayadibi the country dogs were the largest and most savage of any I had met. In build they were likeNewfoundlands, but larger, with black head or muzzle, yellow body, and long curling tail. From nearly every flock that fed within a half-mile of the road a dog would presently detach itself and come lumbering across country to the attack.” (Childs, W.J. Across Asia Minor on Foot. London, 1917)

Childs was certainly not a dog-lover but he accurately described the native Kangal Dogs he met along the old Silk Road, outside of Sivas in Turkey. Sheepherding as been the way of life here for hundreds of years and references to “great yellow dogs with black faces” go back to the 14thcentury. The principal predator is the wolf but other predators include feral dogs, mountain cats, foxes, jackals, and wild boar.

In Turkey, the Kangal Kopegi has been declared both the National Dog of Turkey and a National Treasure, celebrated at an annual Kangal Dog Festival, and regular Kangal Dog Symposiums. The Kangal Dog is conserved at various Turkish military and university facilities including two breeding centers in Sivas. It is technically illegal for non-nationals to export Kangals from the province. In addition, the United Nations has funded small grants for projects that demonstrate and encourage the use of Kangal Dogs in conservation efforts to protect wildlife.

Historically, the Kangal Dog has at times been referred to as Karabas orKarabash meaning black-head. The mtDNA samples of the Kangal Dog show that it is more genetically isolated than the Akbash and for a longer time. The two populations show little mixing, according to Dr Peter Savolainen.

In Turkey, the Kangal Dog works actively with shepherds, out with their flocks grazing by day and returning to the villages at night. In the villages, Kangal Dogs are expected to be gentle with children and tolerant of neighbors. They are not allowed to run free but are confined outside the home or with the sheep. They are fed barley mash, scraps, and bones. During the summers, flocks often make the journey to high summer pastures, far from roads and people. Two or three dogs accompany flocks of 200-300 sheep. Kangal Dogs are known for their fierce battles with predators, first intimidating them through barking, but they do, at times, pursue wolves when necessary. Puppies grow up in the village until they are old enough to accompany the older dogs and learn from both them and the shepherds.

 But The Kangal “community” is primarily composed of a most diss-agreable collection of control freaks, hippocrits, and mercenaries.   A batch of old ladies who could not be further from the the men in Turkey who historically dealt in these dogs, in any, and every regard.  The Kangal in America is largely in the strangle hold of hobby, novelty, show, breeders.  Ranchers are not likely to pay the prices they ask, or humor the interrogations and conditions they impose on potential buyers.   Which means the breed is very liable to be put on the fast track to selection pressure dementia.

 So, Let it be known then, I will beat anyone in America’s price on a kangal to a true working home, with real predator issues.   Not novelty this or that, on a postage stamp estate that could be guarded by anything that barks.  REAL STOCK, REAL PREDATORS, REAL ACREAGE; if you have those things, I want to be the guy that gets you a Kangal.   And if you don’t have those things…….. I’ll probably beat anybody’s price anyway, cause the KDCA pissed me off, I’m gonna take a bite out their pie,  and I’d personally not mind seeing the price come down to a level that their ilk don’t traffic in, and ranchers might.

Article Organized By MITO
 ADFC Educational / Awareness Guidelines Staff

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kids Of The Anti-DogFighting Campaign Promote Their Awareness

This Article is written by 11 year old Abbi, who is one of the kids of the Anti-DogFighting Campaign staff members.  Some of our kids have decided to follow in our footsteps and help promote for an end to dog fighting from a kids standpoint and help other kids to learn that dog fighting is torture and teach them to report dog fighting.  They do have a page which they have created to help promote awareness.  Please check out their page and give them a Like and show your support.  Please remember, this page is a kid friendly page.  It is an honor for us to see our kids taking a stand to be the "Young Voices For The Victims". 

Abbi's Article:   

"Hello, my name is Abbi and I'm part of the Kids of the Anti-DogFighting Campaign team (KADFC) and I'm here to talk about ''dog fighting''....... Dog fighting is a BIG problem! Before we begin I would like to ask, do you know what dog fighting is? If you don't its where someone trains their dog to fight other dogs! Its a horrible thing! Two people train there dogs and meet somewhere to fight. Its not a dogs fault its the owners. Dogs only want to make there owners happy. Dog fighter owners don't care about there dogs the way people like the ADFC do. I'm sure its not only the ADFC (Anti-DogFighting Campaign) who cares though.

Have YOU ever seen dog fighting? Honestly some people don't understand the DOGS can go through pain to! People don't care about dogs the way some people do! I am truly sorry if I offend anyone and I hope you understand that I don't mean to, but some people are just mean. People who fight dogs have a title: Cruel, people who needs to take there own medicine, I hope you understand how important this is!
These are some key words for dog fighting I hope you understand – Abbi Fairclough from the KADFC.

Bait dog – A dog used for dogs to train on, to get ready for a fight.

Fighting dogs – Dogs who are in the fight and who use the bait dogs to train.

Dog Men – People who train the fighter dogs for a match.

Crowd – The people who bet/gamble for money (the people who bet money on the dog they think will win)

ADFC – People who formed this world wide campaign to put an end to dog fighting and give us as kids a safer place to live.  Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you very much."

Kids Of The Anti-DogFighting Campaign Facebook Page:

The Anti-DogFighting Campaign


If you suspect dog fighting, please contact authorities and The Anti-DogFighting Campaign.  They fight to survive....The Anti-DogFighting Campaign Fight To Save Them! Be A Voice For The Victims!

Project Hope For Smiley & Her Friends

~ Smiley ~
A love of animals has always ran deep within my veins, but in particular I possess a true passion for dogs . While scrolling through Facebook one day I came across a page dedicated to a dog named Smiley. This dog was to change my world forever. She was one of 37 dogs seized in a dog fighting raid in Verpelet , Hungary and she was found to be in a terrible state. Smiley had been used as a breeding machine and had endured some horrific injuries which had never received veterinary care. Half of her muzzle was found to have been ripped off exposing her mouth, gums and teeth. Smiley and the other dogs on site were taken in by Cerberos Pit Bull Rescue. She received immediate medical treatment and still has costly ongoing treatment to repair the damage to her face. She is also working hard at rehabilitation and is now an ambassador of the breed.

The Cerberos Pit Bull Rescue Team are dedicated people who work to save and rehabilitate dogs from even the worst back grounds. Their experienced trainers work to the dogs so that they can be placed in their forever homes. Dogs under the care of the Cerberos team are cared for by fosters, trainers and those unable to be placed in foster due to medical or behavioral reasons are cared for at the Dog School to complete the rehabilitation.

As well as Smiley , many seasoned fighting dogs were seized and brought into the care of the team , all of which are progressing well under the experience and dedication of this wonderful team. It is not only Dog Fighting victims that find themselves in the loving care of Cerberos volunteers. Dogs from all backgrounds are welcomed and cared for by the team.

~ Mystery ~

Mystery is a bull-type terrier female pup, who was found to be missing patches of fur on most of her body. She was discovered in a home to which she had somehow managed to crawl into. Mystery was not micro-chipped and required medical attention. Cerberos Pit Bull Rescue Team immediately took her for the care which she so desperately needed. The vet confirmed that Mystery had developed very serious demodex symptoms and she is in constant pain. Her legs and neck confirmed to have oedema and her womb was inflamed which caused some bleeding. 

In Hungary , organizations such as Cerberos Pit Bull Rescue are not government funded by law. They must run solely from donations and fund-raising. All the care for these beautiful babies must be funded by the organization themselves. This includes food, heating, blankets and medical care. The Dog School charges a fee for its services however this goes towards payment for the qualified trainers that work there.

By now you may be wondering how Smiley, a pit bull from Hungary managed to change my world.
Smiley's story touched me, it filled me with emotions I had never felt before. Anger, upset, confusion... a whole rainbow of emotion filled me all at once. It was at this point that I realised that I had to do more. I had to help save these dogs. I had to help be the voice of voiceless. This in turn led me to The Anti Dog Fighting Campaign to which I am the UK representative and Assistant Manager. Most advocates have that story, that animal that changed their world and pushed them to take a stand . For most however they never get to meet that animal in the flesh, they will always remember, always picture it in their mind but they don't get feel that warmth from them.

I, however, am one of the lucky few that are given the amazing opportunity to meet my inspiration. On April 8th 2014, I will fly out to Hungary and spend a week there. While in Hungary, I will get to meet some of the Cerberos Pit Bull Rescue Team along with some of the dogs in their care including the beautiful Smiley and some of her friends from Verpelet, Lava , a baby girl who arrived in the teams care suffering from milk fever, as well some of the other dogs currently being cared for and loved by the team . I will also get the opportunity to visit the Dog School and meet some of its residents and trainers, as well as of course sampling the local culture, meeting some of the local people and dining on Hungarian dishes . 

~ Lava ~

This team of volunteers are completely dedicated to each and every dog. They pour their heart and soul into the work that they do and produce such over whelming results, however they face the daily battle of funding such an operation. To explain how much of a battle it really is for the team here is a run down of the costs for the care of the 37 dogs seized in the Verpelet Dog Fighting bust (not including the dogs food):

Number of dogs taken into Cerberos care after the raid? - 37
Microchip and vaccination for all dogs – 7000 HUF/dog =  total  259000 HUF
Basic initial veterinary check-up for all dogs – between 4-6000 HUF  total approx. 200000 HUF
All dogs got broad spectrum anthelmintic tablets and protection against ticks and fleas – 6000 HUF /dog = total 222000
Each dog gets nutrition and vitamins – 3-5000 HUF/dog = total 148000 HUF

Surgeries already payed for by Cerberos: Concrete, Streaky, Django, Smiley. Their surgical expenses – vet fees and antibiotic treatments, vitamins and immune system strengtheners costs:
-Concrete: 60000 HUF (leg surgery)
-Streaky: 90000 HUF (leg surgery)
-Django: 60000 HUF (operative dentistry)
-Smiley 150000 HUF (operative dentistry)

Expected costs for upcoming surgeries:
Baby: 50-90000 HUF
Streaky: 900000 HUF
Smiley: approx. 200000 HUF in Hungary plus a specialist will need to be found for her facial reconstruction surgeries.

All dogs must also be spayed or neutered before they can be adopted this costs a further 15-20000 HUF/dog for males and 20-30000HUF/dog for females.  On top of this there are also many other dogs in Cerberos care that also need to be funded. In total there are currently 55 dogs being cared for by Cerberos fosters and trainers with more coming in all the time.
~ Babyface ~

~ Concrete ~

I would like show this magnificent team of people our support and raise some funds for these dogs care. Donations will help fund the dogs medical care , de-worming , vaccinations , spay/neutering and will also help pay for the dogs food as there are no food sponsors. 

Upon visiting the Dog School, a check will be presented by myself, on behalf of The Anti-Dog Fighting Campaign and its Supporters, directly to a member of the Cerebros Pit Bull Rescue Team. This is where you, our awesome supporters come in. I would like to ask for your help to give them the aid they so desperately need to continue this marvelous work that each and every one of them dedicate their lives too. Any donation, no matter how small will help these dogs in their journey to a better life. Without the work that Cerberos do these dogs would never have a second chance, never feel love and would never find their forever homes.

Please help us to help them.


~ Smiley With Her Foster Family and Trainer ~

** Written By:  Karen Fairclough **

ADFC Dog Fighting/Bait Dog Victim Research Team 

Remember, if you suspect dogfighting, please contact authorities and the Anti-DogFighting Campaign.  Help us give these animals their second chance.  They are forced to fight to survive and The Anti-DogFighting Campaign fights to save them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nathan, You Will Never Be Forgotten

When I think about the suffering Nathan endured, and how anyone could do this to an innocent dog and not have remorse, it makes me lose faith in humanity. When you see the abuse and torture this sweet dog endured, you know he didn’t live the life he deserved. Nathan was a victim of dog fighting, used as a bait dog for an evil brutalizing sport. Nathans life ended too soon, but his memory will go on forever. On 12 April 2012 Judy Obregon founder of TAO- the Abandoned Ones Animal Rescue- saved precious Nathan from the South Fort Worth Texas Animal Shelter, Judy gave this poor, scared, helpless dog his name “Nathan”, she took him to the vet immediately to have him evaluated, and saved. 

Nathans face was not the only thing that bore scars, his legs had cuts, and scars from razor blades, a trademark from dog fighters. His tongue had severe cuts, either from fighting, or the cruelty of his owner. Nathans teeth had been sharpened, and his face was largely infected, they estimated his injuries were 4-5 days old. I cannot imagine the pain he was feeling during that time, since he was left to die by his prior owner, I am sure mentally he felt defeated. 


Nathan did not suffer long, the next day while in surgery, Nathans heart stopped. Due to all the pain, and damage his brittle little body could no longer function. Nathan crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and is now running free, without fear, without abuse, enjoying the life he deserved all along. Judy Obregon and others were with Nathan when he passed, his last day was with love, and affection, and he did not pass alone. Thank you to TAO-the Abandoned Ones Animal Rescue for not giving up on Nathan, and for showing him unconditional love before he departed. 

** Written By:  Stephanie Ambler **

ADFC Dog Fighting/Bait Dog Victim Research Team


Gleason- Victim: Bait Dog

In the past decade, there have been great strides taken in saving dogs that were used as bait dogs, and dogs that were used to fight. It started with the Vick Dogs, the opinions of many animal lovers, rescue groups, and the public were divided on if they were “fit” to be around people, other animals or if they should be humanely euthanized. The Vick Dogs proved that “yes” we can be trusted again, and we deserve to be placed in a home. This was also true for Gleason.

Gleason was an 8 month year old pit bull mix who was used as a bait dog in Arizona. The scars on his neck, chest, and face showed he was used at the expense of cruel, evil people for the criminal act of dog fighting. Gleason like many bait dogs was found wondering, as a stray, who by the grace of God, got away from his abusers. Through the love and care of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Gleason recovered from his injuries, and the staff fell head over heels in love with him. Gleason proved himself by passing the HSSA’s Safety Assessment for Evaluating Re-homing (SAFER) program; the program is run through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The Humane Society of Southern Arizona uses this program to help animals like Gleason, who have come from not so good situations; it gets them ready for adoption, their forever homes. Gleason was one of the lucky ones; he has found his forever home and gets to live the life he deserves.

There are many dogs who are the victims of the cruelty of being forced to fight, or being used as bait, life doesn’t have to end that way for them. Help us here at the “Anti-DogFighting Campaign” save these dogs from their past, and live the life they deserve. 

 ** Written By:  Stephanie Ambler **

ADFC Dog Fighting/Bait Dog Victim Research Team

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Effects of Dog Fighting on Children

To many of us it is clear that any child of any age will feel the effects of witnessing something as violent as an organized dog fight.

However if they are going to witness an organized dog fight, this is not the only thing they are likely to witness, think of all the other things that also go along with organized dog fighting...

Gambling, weapons, drugs, aggression verbal and physical, gang related happenings, abuse, cruelty and death.

And this is just at the fight, if people are involved in this type of activity it is highly likely that things of a similar nature will be happening in other areas of their life too, which will mean not only will the child witness the horrific event of a dog fight and everything that goes with it, they will very likely witness other traumatic events in their life.

The people involved in dog fighting have a complete disregard for life and living beings, both of the human and animal kind.

Which will reflect in their day to day behavior and how they treat people in their life.

The impact of these events will have an impact on the child to one degree or another no matter if they see one dog fighting event or if they see a variety of different events over a period of time.

Obviously each individual reacts to different things in a different way and the way they will express their feelings will vary.

I can personally vouch for this as both my sister and myself witnessed violence as youngsters and the way we both dealt with this both at the time and in later life varied enormously and how we both recovered also varied massively.

So to some degree I am speaking from experience as I am sure there will be people who read this will say, well what does she know, she isn’t an expert. No I’m not a fully trained psychiatrist but I have personal experience, I have friends who have shared their personal experiences with me and I have worked in social care for over twenty years and supported people who have experienced abuse.

I mention the word abuse because by exposing a child of any age to the kinds of things that go with dog fighting is an abuse, there is no question about that!

Some of the behavior you may see in a child who has witnessed dog fighting and related issues will obviously vary from child to child, they may display a disregard for life, often of animals to begin with, but this may continue on to human life. They may show an acceptance to aggressive behavior, this could be by not reacting as you may expect to violence on TV or in a film.

Or the child could be extremely withdrawn, not just shy but more than that, they could appear uncommunicative, unable to express themselves in either a negative or positive way. Or they could be extremely passive and then out of the blue explode with emotion, usually in a negative way.

The child may display unusual behavior, maybe saying things that seem out of character for a child of their age or acting out things that you can’t place into a scenario that makes sense to an everyday person.

On a more basic level, they may appear tired as they may not be sleeping, they may experience nightmares, they may not want to eat or to the other extreme they may over eat.

They may also bully other children they come into contact with, this could be to try and maintain some level of control in at least one aspect of their life, when they have no control over the rest of their life.

The child will consider all of thier behaviour and the behaviour of those around them to be completely normal and they will be unlikely to have anything else to compare it to and it is unlikely that they will openly talk about what they are witnessing.

It is so important that other adults in a childs life such as teachers are educated in Safeguarding children and what to do if they spot unusual behaviours so that it may be addressed in a timely and swift manner, not only will this help the child concerned but also anybody else in the family who is being affected in a negative way and of course the animals that are being abused.

If in doubt report no one will criticize someone for being vigilant and showing genuine care.

If you see or know of any dog fighting please contact the Anti-DogFighting Campaign. Let’s put an end to this horrible abuse.

**Written By Sonia Page**
ADFC Educational/Awareness Guidelines Author

Friday, November 8, 2013

Roo's Story - A Rise From Her Hell

Most of us have heard the heartbreaking stories and seen the horrific, bloody , aftermath photographs. Most will turn away, scroll past or turn the page as these stories and pictures are just too hard and too heartbreaking to see. On viewing these pictures and reading these stories I imagine most will experience feelings of upset, anger and even confusion of how and why someone could put a dog through such an experience. Yet, they will scroll past and continue with their day.

These people should feel lucky, lucky that all they felt was upset and anger. For some must endure a greater pain than this, some must endure pain beyond belief. Day to day abuse and torture, starvation and constant beatings for one end result... To be torn apart in a ring known as a “pit” for the entertainment and pleasure of people. Females without enough 'game' may be used as a breeding machine, another cash lining for these sadistic people. They will often have their mouths taped and be strapped into what is known as a 'rape stand' and they will be forced to mate whilst unable to defend themselves resulting in injuries ranging from bites to having ears , cheeks etc. ripped off.

This is the life that Roo experienced until she was rescued on the 23rd of August 2013 from a multi-state dog fighting bust.

When the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) arrived at the property to serve an arrest warrant, the suspects were not there. However what they did find were several dogs which were immediately seized and placed in the loving care of Dekalb County Animal Services. Roo was one of these dogs, she was one of the lucky ones. Roo and the other dogs seized that day were now about to embark on the biggest adventures of their lives. That day, their lives would change forever.

Roo was found in a terrible state, she was the worst of all the dogs found. Her body told a story, a story of pain , fear and sadness. She was covered in hundreds of new and old scars, a severely disrupted left wrist and her right paw was completely mauled off. These injuries had never had veterinary attention and would of caused unimaginable pain. It is thought by her rescuers that Roo had been used as a bait dog and also for breeding, although this will never be known for sure. This is the only life Roo had known.

10 days after arriving at Dekalb county animal services Roo was released to a foster home, with the help of Friends of Dekalb Animals, where the next part of her adventure would begin. She would require specialist veterinary care where the joint in Roo's left leg was to be fused into a normal position to relieve the pain and to give her better mobility. As well the urgent medical care which she so desperately needed. For the first time this baby is experiencing love, experiencing a humans touch without it causing her pain. For the first time in her life Roo now has a place where she feels safe. Something that we take for granted. 

We watch our own furry companions play with toys and snuggle down into their cozy beds. They sleep on our laps and feel our gentle touch. They have fresh water and food every day. This is something that Roo would now experience for the first time in her life.

Roo has now undergone surgery on her leg and is recovering well. She is walking tall and loving life. She attends the vets for regular bandage changes and has also been spayed. So far her road to recovery is going fantastic. She is now a playful, fun loving dog that is now starting to put her trust back into humans. She has shown amazing strength and is flourishing day by day.

Roo is still currently 'evidence', however once the case has been closed and Roo has finished her rehabilitation and socialization program then this beautiful girl will be ready for adoption. This will be the final part of Roo's adventure. This will be the closing chapter in what was once a traumatic and terrible experience and although her physical scars will remain, this life will be only a distant memory and she will begin the life every dog deserves.

Follow Roo on her road to recovery at

If you wish to help towards Roo's care, please donate at or to send Roo a gift please visit her wish list at

If you see or know of any dog fighting please contact the Anti-DogFighting Campaign. Let’s put an end to this horrible abuse.  
** Written By:  Karen Fairclough **
ADFC Dog Fighting/Bait Dog Victim Research Team

LUCAS - A Stolen Life

Meet Michael Vick’s ‘Grand Champion’ fighting dog

Lucas’s brutally scarred face tells the appalling certainty of many fights but Lucas showed that he was superior both to the abuse suffered and his abuser, Michael Vick. 

Sadly, with each of Lucas’s wins it is likely that another dog lost his life, as we know from Vick's own admission that he killed his losing dogs in ruthless, bloody and horrific ways.

On June 19, 2013 Lucas was euthanized due to ongoing medical issues with babesia, a disease commonly found among fighting dogs and carried by a blood parasite spread through bite wounds. The disease can be treated but not cured and Lucas suffered regular flare-ups.

Lucas was rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in April 2007 and arrived at Best Friends Animal Society in January 2008 following Vick’s trial. Lucas was never allowed to be adopted. The Federal court had ruled, because of the perceived street value based on Lucas’s notoriety and underworld status, he had to remain in sanctuary and so he spent his remaining years at Best Friends.

Lucas was deemed one of the 22 most challenging of the nearly 50 dogs rescued from Vick’s kennels. Never before had fighting dogs been given a chance to be rehabilitated. Traditionally, on seizure, the dogs were euthanized by authorities. Best Friends and Lucas demonstrated to the world (along with many of the other ‘Vicktory Dogs’), against all odds, that even the most damaged fighting dog can be rehabilitated because of the indomitable and gentle spirit inherent in every pit bull.

Greg Castle, CEO of Best Friends, said of Lucas: “Ironically, of all the Vicktory dogs, the one who could never be adopted per court order was the most social and well-behaved of them all around people….(he) was a sweet, affectionate, regular dog who wanted nothing more than to be around people – to love and to be loved ”. The success of Lucas is a credit to the people who run Best Friends and the sanctuary, and it's also a credit to the nature of this specific dog.

Rothy, an Entertainment, Music & Media Consultant and animal advocate and rescuer wrote an open letter to Vick on the death of the amazing Lucas – here is the letter in full:

Dear Michael Vick: Your Champion is Dead,

Mike, just thought you’d like to know that on June 19th of this year, your Grand Champion Fighting Dog, Lucas, finally succumbed to the disease he was infected with during his time fighting for you. You should be happy to know that his new caregivers and family did all they could to save him, but his suffering was too much so in the most humane, painless way, they granted him his final peace. They think he was about 13 at the time, but I guess you would know better than anyone.

You should also be pleased to hear that despite your efforts to turn this beautiful dog into a monster, he was actually found to be the most loving of all the dogs rescued and rehabilitated from Bad Newz Kennels, thus proving that even those deemed the worst in our society, can still be rehabilitated. Ironically enough, Lucas’ life speaks to your ongoing plight for forgiveness. Who knows, maybe there is hope for you after all.

I’m just curious Mike, what were your experiences with Lucas? Did you know that he was such a cuddle bug and loved affection? Did you ever take him for walks or let him ride in your expensive cars with you, or did he spend all his time in a crate and the ring? Did you ever get any cute pictures of him as a puppy, or could you not stand to see the bloody sight of him after you made him fight? Did you even know him or remember him at all? I must admit, I wish I would have had the honor of petting Lucas and thanking him for being such a good boy.

I heard you got permission to have another dog for your kids. Tell me Mike, how is the little guy doing? I never see pictures posted nor do I hear about his happiness in your care. I would think you would want to show the world how you have changed for the better. I hope and pray he is well. Your ex-girlfriend is writing a tell-all about her decade with you. She says you let your parrot starve to death. I can’t say I’m surprised, after all, how’s a parrot going to make you any money.

Well, I guess that is all for now, Mike. Just thought you may be interested in knowing that even though you probably planned to hang Lucas once he lost his first fight, he ended up having a great life with Best Friends Animal Society. My heart is saddened to read of the death of your champion, but his life speaks boldly of the magic of love, forgiveness and rehabilitation. His life even speaks to my heart about forgiving others, especially you. But I’m still working on that one.

If there is even a drop of humanity in you at all, your heart should smile at his life and recovery. You bred and raised one of the greatest ambassadors for the breed in our lifetime, and for that, I guess in a way I should thank you.


Did Vick care about Lucas’s death? Extremely doubtful as he was too busy paying over $100,000 for PR to upgrade his ‘image’ plus he had a new clothes line to open. Vick has never voluntarily contributed to any of the Vicktory Dogs care and rehabilitation. With a reported salary of $12.5 million in 2012 he could have stepped up but Vick has shown not one iota of remorse for his heinous criminal dogfighting activities. Hopefully Vick’s time at the NFL with The Philadelphia Eagles will be coming to an end, none too soon.

Lucas was indeed a champion but his greatest victories were outside the ring. He won hearts and minds and taught the world about the integrity and depth of character of even an abused pit bull.

Imagine what Lucas could have been, should have been, if Michael Vick had not stolen his life.