Though dog fighting is banned in all 50 states in the U.S., it still happens. And it occurs more often than one might think. To raise awareness about dog fighting and what dogs in these fighting rings go through, the ASPCA designated April 8 every year as National Dog Fighting Awareness Day.
But what exactly does one do on National Dog Fighting Awareness Day? There are plenty of ways you can acknowledge the day and help raise awareness about dog fighting. Check out the information about dog fighting below, then learn more about the ways you can observe National Dog Fighting Awareness Day!
Some History of Dog Fighting
How did dog fighting originate anyway? It turns out dog fighting has been around for a very long time—since 43 A.D. when the Romans invaded Britain, to be exact. When this invasion occurred, both sides included dogs in the battles that followed. The Romans may have won, but they found that British dogs were much better trained in fighting than their own. So, they brought them home with them to aid in war but also for entertainment. And eventually, the Romans would end up sharing these fighting dogs with the rest of Europe.
This is how dog fighting became popular with the English nobility in the 12th century; the English would have the dogs fight against chained-up bulls and even bears. However, this activity was banned in 1835, as people had begun to talk about not only how few bears and bulls there were but also mentioned animal cruelty. You’d think this would be a positive, but instead, it made people have their dogs fight other dogs rather than larger animals.
It wasn’t until right before the Civil War that these fighting dogs showed up in the U.S. But by the 1860s, the majority of states outlawed “bloodsport” due to animal abuse concerns. And in 1976, dogfighting was banned in every state (although enforcement of this was, shall we say, lax). Then, in May 2007, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Act came about; this act gave a penalty of three years in prison for the transport of animals for purposes of fighting. Finally, in 2014, the ASPCA declared April 8 National Dog Fighting Awareness Day.
How Can I Observe This Day?
There are several ways one can observe National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Take a look below for just a few of them!
Dog fighting is, unfortunately, still much more prevalent than one might think. However, you can help combat the tragedy of dog fighting by observing National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. Doing this means you can help spread awareness about dog fighting, learn more about the signs of dog fighting, sign petitions, and if you’re up to the task, you might even adopt a former dog fighter and change its life.
April 8 is just around the corner, so make sure you’re prepared for National Dog Fighting Awareness Day this year!
Featured Image Credit: Puripat Lertpunyaroj, Shutterstock