WHAT IS DOG FIGHTING?
Dog fighting is the premeditation and cruel practice of encouraging and inciting two dogs to attack and fight each other until one of the dogs is either killed or is too injured and exhausted to continue fighting.
Dog fighting is a thriving underground activity in both urban and rural areas across the country. This cruel and illegal activity may be happening in your community.
Dogs used for fighting suffer terrible injuries such as – crushed and broken bones, ripped flesh, deep puncture wound, torn muscles, broken teeth and severe bruising. Dogs used for these activities often die as a result of these injuries from blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, and/or infection.
Most dogs used for fighting have miserable lives – caged or chained with heavy chains in bad living conditions for their whole lives.
As the largest and oldest animal protection organization we are the leaders in law enforcement relating to animal cruelty, abuse and neglect.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ME?
Animal abuse has close links to other criminal activities, acts of violence and abuse of vulnerable people.
Dog fighting promotes a lack of respect for the law, insensitivity to suffering, an enthusiasm for violence and involvement in other crimes such as illegal gambling, drugs, illegal weapons and theft.
The presence of these dogs in a community, owned by irresponsible individuals, increases the risk of attacks on other animals and also on people.
Where animal fighting is allowed to take place other illegal activities will flourish.
At least 71% of GBV perpetrators are also likely to abuse the most vulnerable members of our society: children, the elderly, and of course, animals.
The Circle of Violence
HOW DO I RECOGNISE THE PRESENCE OF DOG FIGHTING AND HOW CAN I HELP?
Signs of possible dog fighting activities:
- Pit bulls kept on heavy chains or confined in small areas like alleys, garages or cages.
- Residences or properties with multiple pit bulls that are unsterilised, unsocialised or unfriendly to other animals.
- Pit bulls that have evidence of repeated injuries: dogs with multiple scars or injuries on their bodies, especially their faces, front legs, chests, hind legs, thighs and ears.
- Purpose-built fighting pits or square makeshift fighting areas with blood stains on floors and walls.
- The presence of training equipment (such as slat mills, treadmills, springpoles or break sticks) or veterinary drugs or supplies and steroids.
- Frequent or regular change in dogs at a specific property.
As dogs are killed, new animals are purchased or stolen.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
It is a crime to be involved in any manner with the fighting of animals or to own, keep, train or breed animals used for fighting.
It is also illegal to buy, sell or import these animals.
It is a crime to incite / encourage or allow any animal to attack another animal or proceed to fight.
It is a crime to promote animal fighting for money or entertainment.
You are committing a crime if you rent your property or property you manage for animal fighting purposes.
A person found guilty for any involvement in dogfighting is liable for a fine of R80,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 24 months with a criminal record.
REPORT ANY ACT OF ILLEGAL DOGFIGHTING
Dogfighting reports can be made in strict confidence by email email@example.com or telephonically by calling 0217004158/9 during office hours.
You can also report dogfighting online or by calling the after-hours number 083 326 1604.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA offers a reward of up to R5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of dog fighters.
JOINT PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA and City of Cape Town Law Enforcement joined forces in 2021 in a quest to eradicate dogfighting activities in Cape Town. The partnership has joint responsibility with the SPCA as custodian of the Animal Protection Act and Law Enforcement as the custodian of the City Bylaws, which both govern and impact on issues pertaining to dogfighting. The partnership also ensures a close working relationship to educate and raise awareness to stop dog fighting.
SPCA ANTI-DOG-FIGHTING UNIT
Dog fighting is an inhumane blood-sport where dogs, who have been bred, conditioned and trained to fight, are pitted against each other to fight. In most cases dog fights are for spectator entertainment and financial gain.
Dog fighting is a thriving underground crime that may be happening in your community without you even knowing about it!
Most dogs that are used for fighting live a miserable life where they are kept chained or caged in poor living conditions for most of their lives.
Please make a donation and support our anti dogfighting efforts
On 12 September 2023, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspectorate and Mobile Clinics embarked on a heartfelt journey to the Du Noon informal settlement. Our mission? To illuminate the darkness that dogfighting casts on innocent lives.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA, in collaboration with the City of Cape Town's Law Enforcement Animal Control Unit, arrested five (5) minors involved in dogfighting activities in Retreat, Cape Town.
Last night, a suspect was arrested after being nabbed by the community of Hanover Park for dog fighting. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA was the first on the scene and arrested the suspect. One victim of dogfighting was seized and rescued by the SPCA.
On Saturday the 9th of October 2021 a joint SPCA / City of Cape Town sting operation saw 3 suspects being arrested at a dogfighting event in Saxonsea, Atlantis. Read the full story here Justice has now been served.
On Thursday last week, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA received disturbing video footage of dog fighting that took place in Wesbank. In the video footage, it can be seen how the culprits incite their dogs to attack each other. When the dogs were all worked up and ready to attack, the owners released their dogs to attack each other. The owners and spectators were encouraging the dogs to fight whilst one of the spectators filmed the fight.
With dogfighting cases on the rise, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspectorate team has been conducting bi-weekly outreach programmes in Rylands – Athlone, Manenberg, Gatesville, Khayelitsha - T3-V3 and Cite B, Flamingo Heights – Lansdowne, and Mitchells Plain
Although dogfighting is illegal in South Africa, it is desperately under-enforced. It is still extremely popular in underground crime circles and is a highly syndicated and organised crime. Dogs are encouraged to fight to the death, and the fight can go on for hours—until both dogs are exhausted and at least one is seriously injured or dead.
On Friday, 26 August 2022, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement: Animal Control Unit rescued 7 dogs from dog fighting in Tafelsig.
Every week our Inspectors visit a different area to educate and raise awareness to stop dog fighting.