Your Help

What You Can Do…

This section covers the following issues, and what you can do to help:

How to help pit bulls, and all other pets in your community
1. Fight for stronger animal welfare Legislation. Animal abuse and neglect is very much a problem throughout the world, and believe it or not, in North America. Dog fighting and puppy mills, although illegal, have taken their activities underground, making them difficult to uncover and investigate. To make matters worse, in many states/provinces in North America, possession of dog fighting equipment is not considered a felony. Write your MPP or mayor, and let them know that animal abuse is a serious threat to your community, and that you demand stronger laws with higher fines, longer jailtime, and a lifetime ban on animal ownership for people who abuse or neglect their animals. People that abuse and exploit animals have been known to transfer these acts to humans. Help in protecting both animals and people.

2. Report animal abuse or neglect to your local authorities. Aside from the police, your local shelter and animal control unit most likely has cruelty investigators that work to ensure that people are keeping and treating their animals within the law. Make sure you get as much details about the case as possible; try to include when/where/how/who/what.

Here are some issues you should be reporting to your local humane society cruelty investigators:

– Animals left outside (or inside) without proper food, water, and shelter
– Left outside in very hot/cold weather
– Needs vet care and is not receiving any
– No grooming (hair matting is painful and considered neglect)
– Being physically abused
– Chained on short tethers
– Wounds on animals
– Patches of missing hair on animals
– Malnourished animals
– Animals that cower in fear or become unexpectedly aggressive when approached by their owner
– Confined in small area for long periods of time

Animal control should be contacted for the following reasons:

– Animals running at large
– Owners not pooping and scooping
– Bylaw infractions (leash laws)
– Stray animals
– Injured animals and wildlife
– Dead animals
– Unsanitary conditions/fecal accumulation

*please check with your municipality for details on what your local Animal Control and Humane Society is responsible for in terms of animal abuse and neglect.

3. Do not purchase animals from pet shops. This alone ensures that puppymill runners will continue to get paid for their abusive business, and continue to produce litter after litter. Boycott local pet shops that sell livestock, and let them know that you are aware of puppymills. If you notice breeder ads in your local newspaper advertising more than one breed of dog, contact the humane society and let them know of your suspicions. Inform people of the reality; much the general public is not yet aware of the horrors of puppymills.

Dog fighting: The Never Ending Battle
Why you should care:
Dog fighting is considered illegal and a felony in many parts of the world; but unfortunately, not in all. It is a serious threat to the community. Dog fighters are often involved in other crimes such as illegal gambling, illegal possession of weapons, and the selling and possession of drugs. Most dog fighters have a history of violence and criminal behavior not only towards animals but towards people as well.

The trauma and suffering that fighting dogs go through is disturbing. Fighting dogs are specifically bred, conditioned (sometimes by starvation, physical abuse, confinement, etc), and trained to fight in pits. Dog fights end when one dog is no longer willing to fight, or when one of the dogs is killed. If a dog loses a fight and lives, it is usually either shot, abandoned to die from its injuries, or electrocuted. When they are not fighting, these animals are either isolated in kennels or chained outside for most of their lives.

Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight. Some owners train their dogs for fights using smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, or small dogs. These animals are known as “bait.”

Some dog fighters who call themselves, “dogmen,” argue that pit bulls love to fight, and that they do not feel pain during the fight.
These dogs do not love to fight – they fight because they will be killed otherwise. They do not have a choice. Furthermore, pit bulls have the same nervous system as any other breeds, and therefore, feel pain as much as any other dog.

More information on dog fighting can be found by visiting the following websites:

Pit Bulls on the Web
Knock Out Dog Fighting

Signs of dog fighting:

  • Ownership of several dogs and puppies that are confined by thick, heavy chains, or kept hidden from the public’s view.
  • Signs of a “catmill” – a device that confines a small animal such as a cat or rabbit, and encourages the dog to chase it. As a reward, the dog will be allowed to kill the confined animal.
  • Dogs with extreme and uncontrollable aggression towards other animals, especially towards other dogs. Please keep in mind, however, some dogs do possess animal aggression.
  • Dogs that possess multiple scars and wounds, some with serious infections.
  • Fresh wounds, punctures, and lacerations on dogs.
  • Dogs with shortly cropped ears that have been bitten and torn.
  • The presence of treadmills and spring poles (although this equipment may not necessarily indicate that it is used for dog fighting, as treadmills and spring poles are also used to condition dogs for weight pulling competitions or simply for exercise).
  • Blood stains in a confined area.
  • Groups of people of all ages coming and going from a site at all hours. Be suspicious if this is an abandoned property.

According to authorities, following is a list of the most common items you might find when searching a fighter’s residence.

1. Solu-Delta-Cortef + Dexamethasone (Azium) (Prednisolone or Flumethasone).
Anti-Inflamatory/anti-shock injectibles. Reduces swelling.
2. Pain Killer (Lidocaine) or any kind.
3. Vitamin K Injectible. Promotes blood clotting.
4. Lactated Ringers + I.V. Catheters & Set-Ups.
5. Injectible Antibioctics. Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, or plain Penicillin Procain are used to prevent infection of wounds. MUST HAVE.
6. Lassix.
7. Gauze and Leg Tape.
8. Pound Flesh or Caustic Powder. Helps stop bleeding.
9. Albacillian or Baytril.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide.
11. Betadine.
12. Prepodyne Swab (for ears).
13. Iodine Shampoo or Betadine Surgical Scrub (for bathing).
14. Sutures (both silk and gut), Staple Gun and Removers.
15. Derma-Clens.
16. Granulex Spray.
17. Scalpel and/or Surgical Razor.
18. Surgical Scissors.
19. Sterile Gloves.
20. Sterile Vaseline or KY Jelly.
21. Thermometer.
22. Super Glue. Used for repairing split ears and tailtips.
23. Leather Shoestring or Equivalent to be used as a tourniquet in case an artery is hit.
24. 3cc Syringes w/ 22-Guage Needles.
25. CytoMax + Canine Peak Condition (or Peak Performance).
26. Oxygen Set-up.
27. Blood Transfusion Set-up.
28. Epinephrine.

Areas that can hold dog fighting pits:
– an abandoned house
– a vacant garage
– an isolated warehouse
– a commercial or residential basement
– a secluded park
– a farmhouse or barn

If you suspect dog fighting, don’t hesitate to call authorities!

…back to top…


Chained Dogs

*information courtesy and copyright of

Guard Dog, from Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip, Mutts

Life for a Chained Dog
Dogs can survive on just food and water. But to be happy, dogs need exercise and daily love and attention from their guardian. There is no worse punishment for a dog than keeping him permanently chained for hours, day after day. Dogs are highly social, and are pack animals. Dogs chained for long periods of time tend to become anxious, aggressive, neurotic, territorial, and dangerous.

Imagine being chained to a tree year after year, day after day, hour after hour. You watch the back door hoping someone will come out to play with you. No one ever does. You long to run and stretch your legs, but all you can do is pace back and forth over your small patch of packed dirt. Sometimes you get tangled up in your chain. You shiver in the winter cold and pant in the hot summer sun. Fleas biting your skin are a constant torture. Eventually, you stop barking for attention.

You have given up hope.

Humans have many of ways to entertain themselves: movies, video games, shopping, television…Your dog only has YOU. Your dog is depending on you to make his life either a good one or a terrible one. His fate is in your hands. If you cannot give your dog a happy life, should you even have a dog?

Are you concerned about a chained dog in someone else’s yard? There are many things you can do to improve that dog’s life!

The first thing to do is get acquainted with the dog’s owners.
Bring a friend with you for safety reasons, and knock on the door. It is very important to be nice, friendly, and respectful to the dog’s owners. Offer a sack of dog treats as an ice-breaker.

Remember to stress that anything you offer is free. People love free stuff! Start out by politely introducing yourself.

Things to say:

  • I am a volunteer with the humane society and I came by to offer you some free resources for your dog (even if you are not a member of a specific humane society, most people recognize the term “humane society volunteer” as someone who cares about animals.)
  • I live in the area and saw your dog in the backyard. I have an extra doghouse I’d be happy to bring over. Is that OK?
  • I noticed your dog lives on a chain. I’m sure he would love the chance to exercise. Could I come by a few times a week to walk your dog?
  • I love shepherds. My shepherd died and I really miss him. Can I go back and meet your dog? What’s his name?
  • I have a friend who owns a fencing company, and I can probably get some fencing materials donated if you would like a fence for your dog.

If the owner seems receptive, ask if you can go with the owner to meet the dog. Ask the dog’s name. This will give you an opportunity to get to know the dog and the owner, and to learn why the dog is on a chain. Sometimes you can help solve the problem. For instance, if the dog is chained so it won’t breed with another dog, investigate low-cost sterilization for the dog (people in Little Rock can contact CARE to find about about free and low-cost sterilization.)

If the dog is chained because he is a fence-jumper, offer to put up fence extensions, put the dog on a trolley or tie-out, or to put up an electric fence or hotwire. If the dog is chained because the owners never really wanted the animal in the first place, offer to find the dog another home.

Bring along materials for the owners to read, too.

Be Constructive, Not Critical
If the dog is too thin, infested with parasites, matted, etc–DON’T be critical of the dog’s owner. You don’t want to make him mad! Just say, “I’ve got some extra flea treatment at home I can bring over to put on Boss” or “I think Boss would look better with a few more pounds on him. How about if I bring over a free case of dog food for you?” or “I like grooming dogs. Could I come over sometime and get these mats out of Boss’s hair?”

Once you have met the owner, try to keep up a good relationship. Leave dog treats and toys on their porch. Stop by to check on the dog. Offer to take the dog on walks and to the vet.

Eventually, the owner may let you have the dog. Although some chained dogs are aggressive, others make perfectly good pets with some love and training. If the dog is relinquished to you, you can now place the dog into a good home. Sometimes a dog owner will sell the chained dog to you. Offer to buy the dog only if you think the owner won’t go right out and get another one.

Some people steal chained dogs to provide a better life for them. The problem with that is that the owners might put an new puppy right back on the chain. And, since dogs are legally considered property, stealing a dog is a felony.

Guard-Dog Issue
Some people chain their dogs as guard dogs. Explain that chained dogs do not make the best guard dogs. Chained dogs become aggressive, not protective. An aggressive dog will attack anyone: the child next door, the meter reader, the mailman. The way to raise a protective dog, who knows how to distinguish friend from foe, is to socialize the dog and bring him inside with the family.

Besides, what can a chained dog do to stop an intruder except bark?

Two Main Goals You should keep two goals in mind when talking to the owner of a chained dog:
1. Educate the owner so that he will think of the dog in a new light; as a living creature who needs love and attention and care. Hopefully, he will learn how to treat dogs better in the future.

2. Helping the dog a little is better than doing nothing at all. You may not be able to convince the owner to relinquish the dog. You may not be able to convince the owner to put up a fence. Even if all you can do is get a decent doghouse, a well-fitting collar, and some toys for the dog, that is a success and the dog’s life has been improved.

Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip, Mutts

Things you can do to help improve the life of a chained dog:
1. Tell the owner to bring the dog inside every now and then!
2. Get to know the dog’s guardian
3. Call your local animal control office
4. Offer to buy the chained dog from the owner and place it into a good home. “$50 bux sound good?”
5. Put up a fence instead of chaining for long periods of time; gives the dog freedom to the backyard
6. Change the law in your community to punish irresponsible owners who abuse chaining priveledges!
7. Educate people about chaining
8. Talk to the owner and offer to take the dogs on walks if he is not able to
9. Talk to your local shelter and advise them to do screening and adopt out to responsible people
10. Be an ambassador for responsible dog ownership

Remember, chaining a dog responsibly for short periods of time is not the issue, but chaining a dog constantly without any attention, exercise, mental stimulation, or social interaction is abusive and neglectful. Chaining does not have to be ‘wrong,’…it is when dog owners take advantage of chaining that it becomes a big problem. Banning chaining may not be the answer, but changing legislation in your state/province/country to target animal cruelty, neglect, exploitation, and irresponsible ownership is.