Underground dog fighting is very real in New Zealand, with groups allowing dogs to fight to the death.
A fighting ring uncovered in the Wairarapa five years ago, found people were betting on which dog would die first. The event had bookies there to announce the odds and they offered free alcohol to all willing to bet. They used bait dogs for entertainment where attendants would bet on how long the animal could stay alive while being attacked.
More and more cases have been uncovered, where dogs have initially gone missing and then turned up wounded or dead. Dog-baiting is the setting of game dogs against a chained or confined animal for sport. The dogs bite and tear to subdue the opposing animal by incapacitating or killing it. Baiting is a blood sport. It is illegal in most countries with varying levels of enforcement.
There are believed to be many groups of dog thieves around the country, some using a fake SPCA van to seize dogs off the street and use them as bait. The latest story in Waiuku, finds a suspected bait dog was found cowering under a roadside railing with fresh wounds around its ears and neck. The one-year-old dog had a rust stain around its neck from being chained for so long and had serious tendon damage from bite wounds both new and old.
The couple who found it tried to help it, but were unsuccessful, so they called the SPCA.
“The poor thing was just screaming, she was in so much pain every time they touched her. It was mentally broken – it was so scared of us, but couldn’t run away – it was really horrible,” Plowman said.
With the help of the SPCA, they caught the dog and it collapsed in her husband’s arms. She called the SPCA the next day and they said they had no choice but to euthanise the dog.
Many posts are circulating about the issue and warning pet-owner’s to be wary of suspicious activity.