I'm getting soooo tired of people getting accused of dogfighting and raided just because they may have certain situations/items on their property or in their possession.
The most common list of situations/items that fall under the category of dogfighting paraphernalia/evidence are:
1. A breakstick
2. Antibiotics and/or other medical supplies
3. A treadmill (slatmill, carpetmill, jenny, etc.)
4. A springpole and/or flirtpole
5. Multiple pit bulls on chains
6. Chains and/or weights
7. Vitamins and other supplements
8. Pedigrees that may or may not contain Champions or Grand Champions
9. Dogs housed behind a privacy fence
10. APBT literature and/or DVDs
11. Dogs with scars
OK. Having one or more of these things is like saying just because you have some decongestants for your sinus infection and fertilizer for your garden on your property at the same time you're suddenly a meth-cooker. I mean come on people!!! Really??? Let me explain each point further.
The breakstick. Any idiot with half a brain who cares about their dogs and owns more than one dog REGARDLESS of breed, but especially a bully-type breed or breed known for animal-aggression, should own at least one breakstick. You never know when one day Fluffy and Fifi, no matter their age and previous love of each other, suddenly decide that the crumb of french fry they find on the floor is cause for an ultimate battle. Well, to help avoid extraneous injury to either dog and yourself and to break up the fight as quickly and easily as possible, a breakstick is a beautiful and potentially life-saving tool. Of course, like any tool, it should be learned how to use one correctly. But apparently, just because you don't want your precious pets to hurt each other exceedingly in the event of an accident and you want to end a fight quickly, you're suddenly a dogfighter? YEAH RIGHT. So now I can't protect my dogs from hurting each other... thanks assholes.
Antibiotics and/or other medical supplies. First of all, livestock owners can readily purchase and have on hand antibiotics, de-parasitizing products, staple guns, antiseptics, and other medical supplies to treat their livestock. But we don't get to do the same for our dogs? Really? What if Fluffy decides to battle with Fifi in the middle of the night and I don't have an emergency vet available? Or Roscoe gets himself hung up in my barbwire fence howling at 3 am for me to come save him? You mean I can't treat my own pet until I can get him safely to a veterinarian? And regardless of the veterinarian, what if I have the expertise to treat my own animals safely and efficiently? Should I be punished as a dogfighter for that? This makes me very angry that I can't provide emergency medical care for the animals I care about most in my family.
Treadmills. Well let's just arrest every K-9 police dog owner who regularly works out their animals to help better serve the community. They may be dogfighters. Yes, I know I may be a bit nit-picky here, but there is a bit of a point. Besides police officers, there are many other people who compete in canine sports who like to condition their animals to perform better through use of a treadmill. It is a safe and easy tool, and many dogs actually LOVE using one. And specially-made canine treadmills work under the dog's own power and desire. They won't work if the dog doesn't want to. When used, treadmills provide better strength and endurance for the animal to perform its given task, whether it's running and flushing birds in a field all day, lure coursing or race preparation, or a K-9 officer building strength to better aid in the capture and restraint of criminals. Also, those who like to condition dogs for the show-ring use treadmills to put their dogs in better physical condition, which is more eye-pleasing for the judges. And if you have a high-energy dog who loves to run every day to feel fulfilled, yet you can't devote every single day to a 3-hour romp in the field, a treadmill is an invaluable tool to help keep your pet happy. But yet, all this doesn't matter. If you have a treadmill, you're labeled a dogfighter. GRRRR!!!
Springpoles/flirtpoles. These are TOYS. And they have the added benefit of helping to keep your pet fit and active and/or being a part of a fitness program for the reasons listed above. We need to arrest people for having fake mice tied to strings for catfighting. Yeah, same idea. Dogs love to chase. Dogs love toys. So tying a toy to a pole and string to let your dog have fun chasing his favorite toy is evidence of dogfighting? Apparently. Dogs also love to play tug. So tying his favorite toy to a rope (or the rope itself if that's what he likes) to a pole or tree attached to a spring (the spring "gives" to better protect his neck and spinal column and simulates tug-of-war activity with a person without said person being drug around, lol) makes someone a dogfighter? Again, absolute ridiculousness.
Multiple dogs on chains. Nothing wrong with having more than one dog right? Nothing wrong with housing your dogs APPROPRIATELY (yes, I stress that because many people don't have a CLUE about good animal husbandry, a point which I will discuss some other time) outside, right? Well, what if those dogs are escape artists and/or don't all get along? In order to keep them safe from each other, protect your community from your dogs' potential mischief, and keep your dogs outside happy that they're not stuck in a crate all day long while you're at work, keeping them chained in a secure and PROPER manner is essential. What if my breed of choice is the American Pit Bull Terrier? I know from experience that fences, cable-ties, and the like will NOT keep my dog safely in his own yard for his and others' protection. He goes under or over a fence, no matter how tall, in a split second. He breaks cable ties. So a good, strong, appropriately-sized chain fastened and connected correctly is the absolute SAFEST solution for him, AND has the added benefit of providing more space and comfort for him than a concrete-bottomed pen. Read more on chaining here. But if I have more than one pit bull safely secured in this manner, who are all obviously well-taken care of and provided for, I'm a dogfighter? Geez.... are you beginning to see the ludicrousness of all this yet? Let me go on...
Chains or weights. These items can and are used to either securely fasten your dog (chains) or train/strengthen your dog for sport (chains and/or weights). People who compete in the sport of weight pulling, for example, often use chains or weights attached to a pulling harness to train and condition their dogs for competition. This is a wonderful sport that has existed for decades for dogs of many breeds including huskies, malamutes, American bulldogs, APBTs, and others. The dogs love and enjoy the sport and feel the reward for a job well done. And if a dog doesn't want to pull, he won't pull, so don't go thinking we MAKE them do it. I myself have dabbled in weight-pull training with a couple of my dogs. One loved it, the other had no desire. There is no way I would be able to MAKE the dog with no desire pull. He looked at me and said, this isn't for me. So that was fine. The other dog LOVED it. So that was fine, too. But yet having these training and conditioning tools on my property makes me a dogfighter.... and again, you see the point.
Vitamins and other supplements. Well this one is quite obvious. Those of us who want to be healthy take vitamins and supplements to improve our own physical well-being. It's the same for dogs. So if I want to provide the same benefit for my pets, I should be able to without question. Enough said.
Pedigrees that may or may not contain Champions or Grand Champions. First, the Champion or Grand Champion titles can also mean conformation show or weight pull titles. And having your dog's pedigree is just a matter of record and/or personal pride. I have one dog that I am very proud of his pedigree. He comes from a very nice line of dogs which include Champions and Grand Champions. So what? Who in their right mind would link this to any criminal activity? But unfortunately, some do. Pathetic.
Dogs housed behind a privacy fence. Really? Since when does that have ANYTHING to do with dogfighting? Just because I don't want any Tom, Dick, or Harry seeing, hurting, and/or taunting my dogs, that makes me a dogfighter? Perhaps I don't want anyone to see my beloved pets to help keep them from getting stolen. I don't put my other precious belongings outside for anyone to see and possibly steal, so why would I put my family pets in plain sight if I don't want to? Yet this is grounds for arrest. Silliness.
APBT literature and/or DVDs. So I want to know more about my breed of choice? Say an owner and lover of chihuahuas has books about Chihuahuas or DVDs about them. Should he be arrested too? Just because I love and admire one of my breeds of choice, and choose to accumulate valuable information and entertainment about them, that makes me a dogfighter? Like I said before, unless the DVDs are footage of a dogfight that I or my dogs are particpating in or present at, then it means nothing. I once saw a program about a lady who LOVED beagles. Almost everything in her house was beagle-related. Books, figurines, pillows, furniture, DVDs, recorded television shows, magazines, pictures, etc. Nothing wrong with that, right? SO why is it wrong for me to do the same concerning the dog breed I love so much? It shouldn't be, that's the point.
Dogs with scars. Guess what? Dogs can get scars in many ways, including but not limited to a dogfight. What if one or more of the dogs you have had scars from a life previous to the one he has lived with you? What if you rescued him from a bad situation or a shelter/rescue organization in which he has an unknown history? What if one day he accidentally gets into a fight with another of your pets? Now you have TWO dogs with scars. What if your dog gets hung up in a fence or hit by a car and has to have surgery? Just because you have a dog with scars, it means nothing. But authorities can take your dog away from you, sentence him to death, and arrest you because of this. Terrible!
Moral of the story, just because you may have one or more of these situations/items on your property or in your possession, it does NOT make you a dogfighter. The media, HSUS, PETA, animal control, the police, and other groups want people to think these things involve malice and criminal intent. That is such complete, total BS and is a violation of our personal rights and freedoms. Please PLEASE take the time to educate yourself, your friends, your family, your neighbors, and the general public of this. I urge you, BEG you to do it for yourself and your community to help keep people from being wrongfully arrested, and keep their dogs from being stripped from their homes and put to death!