West Yorkshire a dog fighting hot spot according to new RSPCA figures

Staffie Kali was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden. Photo credit: RSPCA.
Staffie Kali was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden. Photo credit: RSPCA.

West Yorkshire is a dog fighting hot spot according to new figures released by the RSPCA.

There were 380 dogfighting complaints in West Yorkshire reported the RSPCA from 2015 to 2018.

Staffie Kali was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden. Photo credit: RSPCA.

Staffie Kali was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden. Photo credit: RSPCA.

This puts the county in joint third place with Greater Manchester but behind Greater London and the West Midlands.

Almost 8,000 reports of dog fighting incidents have been reported in England & Wales in the past four years.

Dog fighting is when dogs are trained to fight and pitted against each other with the aim of inflicting as much pain and damage as possible.

Many dogs are left with horrific injuries after fights that are crudely treated by owners with things like glue, instead of going to the vets.

Staffie Kali was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden. Photo credit: RSPCA.

Staffie Kali was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden. Photo credit: RSPCA.

Most dogs used for fighting will be killed in the ring, die because of their injuries or killed by their owners.

Dog fighting was made illegal in England in 1835 but still goes on today.

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Many dogs used by dog fighters are never found and those who are rescued are often found to be banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act

These include the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

They cannot legally be rehomed.

Staffie Kali (pictured) was rescued as part of a dog fighting investigation after she was found cowering in a garden, in Hertfordshire, in March 2017.

She was covered in scars, open wounds and bloody bite marks. RSPCA officers traced her owner - who was later convicted at court of animal welfare offences - and she was taken into care for treatment and rehabilitation.

Georgina Arnold and boyfriend Owen Gray, from Yaxley in Cambridgeshire, read about Kali’s story in the local newspaper and fell in love.

Ms Arnold said: “We love her so much, we couldn’t be without her now.

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out the life she’d had before. The whole experience for her must have been so frightening.

“She has scars and is missing teeth so she has been through a lot. But she is so kind, she is like a teddy bear, there’s not a bad bone in her body. I’m just glad that she’s safe now and she’ll never have to know fear or cruelty again.”

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RSPCA dog fighting expert and Special Operations Unit (SOU) chief inspector Mike Butcher said: “Our figures show that in the past four years the RSPCA has received 7,915 reports* of dog fighting incidents.

"It’s incredible that Kali has recovered from her awful ordeal and gone on to a loving new home where she’ll be safe and cared for. Sadly, the reality is that for many dogs, this will never happen. Dogs who win fights are prized and are often treated like Kings. But those who refuse to fight or lose are often abandoned or barbarically killed.

"The dog fighting world is a dark and frightening place. But it could be happening in an inner-city warehouse next door to your office or on a rural farm in your quiet village.

"Dog fighting is serious, organised animal cruelty and we would not want anyone to put themselves at risk with the sort of people who are involved in such a violent pastime."

The RSPCA has asked anyone who is concerned about the welfare of an animal or suspects dog fighting may be taking place to call it's 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.