We are in the midst of a dog fighting epidemic in America. We are in the midst of a violent crime epidemic as well; the correlation is not a difficult one to draw. In recent years social, political, and legal forces have effectuated remarkable changes in their perception of and reaction to the blood sport. The clandestine culture of dog fighting is no longer shrouded in ignorance and apathy, and law enforcement and legal advocates are equipped with stringent laws to protect the victims and to prevent the indoctrination of future generations of criminals into the culture of dogfighting. Where only a few decades ago, dog fighting prosecutions were literally unheard of, there is now a growing body of case law to assist prosecutors in building and presenting their cases and judges are becoming more cognizant of the gravity of this type of violent crime. National efforts are currently underway to strengthen federal anti-dogfighting legislation, through the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2005.
Progressive law enforcement agencies throughout the nation have identified the overwhelming correlation between dog fighting and other criminal activity and many have developed specially trained units to aggressively combating dog fighting. The commitment of agency resources to the apprehension of dog fighters is not a sacrifice of those resources from other areas of law enforcement. On the contrary, the individuals that are apprehended by dog fighting units are the same gang members, drug-dealers, robbers, and violent criminals that the vice, narcotics, and gang units actively seek to apprehend. Dog fighting raids tend to result in mass arrests for multiple offenses wherein serious and habitual criminals, that may otherwise be unattainable, are easily and efficiently apprehended. Additionally, dog fighting search warrants inevitably result in the discovery of evidence of other criminal activity that would often not be detected without costly investigations and surveillance. Furthermore, as most urban youth are routinely exposed to dog fighting and its peripheral crimes, they are desensitized to violence and suffering and ultimately become criminalized. Without dedicated law enforcement intervention, these children would grow up to be the next generation of social deviants that compromise community safety and drain resources from an already drastically under funded penal system. As many law enforcement agencies have already discovered, preventing their exposure to violence early on ultimately prevents the desensitization and future criminalization of children and saves future law enforcement resources.