Animal Fighting

Dog fighting and cock fighting are "contests" in which two dogs or roosters, specifically trained and bred to fight to the death, are placed in a "pit" and encouraged to attack and maul each other. Spectators that use these events as a source of entertainment and greed watch this event.

Profile of a Fighting Dog

  • Aggression Toward Dogs and Other Animals

  • Communication: Dogs are highly social, with a repertoire of signals that convey their mood and intentions. Dogs trained to fight gain an advantage by not revealing their intentions and by not being inhibited by displays of submission in the opponents.

  • Attack Behaviors

  • Aggression Towards People: For the most part, fighting pit bulls do not cause threat to people. However, there are no uniform standards and there has been a proliferation of "less expensive" dogs who have been subject to even less selection for stable temperament. Aggression towards a person could lead to disqualification from a fight.

  • Excessive Wounds and Scars - especially around the neck, face and leg areas

  • Mangled or Torn Ears

  • Thick Heavy Chains Used As Collars and/or Leashes - used to strengthen neck muscles but may also just be used for "macho" status.

Here are some examples of wounds and scars that may be found on a dog's body. WARNING! Some pictures are graphic!

pitbull dogfight

Other Crimes Involved in Dogfighting Matches

  • Animal Cruelty
  • Gambling & Unreported Income
  • Theft (animals are often stolen as "bait")
  • Alcohol Sales
  • Possession of Concealed or Stolen Weapons
  • Publications of Underground Magazines Used to Promote & Announce Matches
  • Drug Trafficking & Possession
  • Racketeering


Animal fighting is a felony offense in 42 states including Massachusetts. If you know of anyone who is involved in this blood sport please notify a humane, police or animal control officer. Your name will be kept confidential and you may stop a serious and inhumane crime.

Farm Animals in Boston

Possession of a rooster or any other farm animal is illegal in Boston. If you know of anyone that owns such animals please call 617-635-5348 or 635-5349. A proper home will be found for these animals.