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Pitbull fights ‘not for animal lovers’

October 11, 2010

From BB: There has been an article printed that actively encourages dog fighting and puts it on some sort of pedestal, describing how it creates an amazing bond between the owner and pet. Please register your opposition on the article comments and also email the parties listed following the article.

From IOL News
By Bongiwe Mchunu

You can hear the snarls, yelps and barking. You can smell the blood and urine. But, in this place some would call cruel, you can also feel the love, a bond between a person and a dog.

Soweto’s pitbull fighting scene is a murky, secretive world. These young boys and men – who urge on their animals to bite, gouge and sometimes kill other dogs – would be hated by most animal lovers.

Yet to watch them as they feed and groom their dogs, and then gently tend their gashes and bites after the fights, is to see something deeply touching.

Their dogs have unusual names: Frankenstein, Cable, Diesel, Scratch, Sakzana and a puppy named Hitler.

Frankenstein is a stocky, muscled, mainly white pitbull who carries the scars of previous battles all over his body.

He’s just come out of a bloody encounter with Cable, an equally powerful black-and-white dog. Frankenstein’s hair is spotted with blood, his own and that of his adversary. Minutes earlier he was a killer in a thrashing and brutal contest, but now he is calm, soothed by the hands cleaning out his wounds. Hands he trusts.

“Eish sorry mfana kuzolunga (sorry boy, it will be fine),” says Frankenstein’s owner. Frankenstein can feel his wounds, that much is clear as he winces on occasion. But he doesn’t growl or show any aggression towards his owner.

One of the boys explains that the animals are bathed straight after the fights: “If we don’t do this as soon as possible, they will get infections and I don’t want my dog to get sick, you understand suster.”

When I enter this illegal world, clearly some of them feel I am a threat. I have to assure them I will be discreet because, as they put it, “old people tend to call the police when they witness these fights”.

The fights happen mostly during the day and I get calls at short notice. The clashes normally don’t take long and they disperse quickly, leaving those in the fight area none the wiser.

Their dogs have unusual names: Frankenstein, Cable, Diesel, Scratch, Sakzana and a puppy named Hitler.

The dogs come in different colours and definitely have different attitudes. There are friendlier dogs, who will play with a “diski” (a soccer ball) before a fight, and some not so friendly.

Yet to watch them as they feed and groom their dogs, and then gently tend their gashes and bites after the fights, is to see something deeply touching.

As I follow them and document their underground society, I become attached to the dogs. It hurts me to watch them as they lie down, bloody and tired after a fight.

So why do they do it?

For the boys, it is simple. “This is nature taking its course. These dogs were born to fight and would be bored out of their minds if they did not,” says one of the boys.

In all the time I follow the boys and record the violent encounters between the dogs, I don’t see any money change hands. They don’t do this for money.

But it is not only the dogs who get hurt.

The owner of Mercy, a big bitch who is a black-brown colour with white patches, is almost in tears when he phones me to tell me she has been stolen. The dogs are sought after as guard animals. Better than a gun, some say. Other boys, like Cable’s owner, tether their dogs with sturdy chains and hefty padlocks.

When I visit Amber’s owner, he removes his hat and battles the tears. He’s the tough guy who told me these dogs were born to fight. “Eish suster, the puppies have died.”

He tells me they succumbed to biliary. “I tried to treat them with medicines I have, but by the time I rushed them to a doctor they had died,” he says.

Amber has been taking their deaths badly.

“I have been taking her for walks and a swim at the park a lot these days just to console her,” he adds.

On another occasion, Magogo (“granny” – so called because at four she is regarded as old) is listless as she lies at her owner’s feet after her fight.

“Ukhathele (she is tired); maybe I should carry her,” he says. “You see, suster, she is old now, she just needs water,” he says as he whispers soothing words in her ear.

A few days later, his mother reveals that Magogo is pregnant. She does not know that her son fights the dog.

There are smiles all round. He is happy. His dog is happy. It is a happy day.


If you object to this type of journalism, as well as the vicious story content, please comment on the article and consider sending the following people a message as well:


    Related, UK Friends
    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    RELATED, as provided in Please speak out! Philly Newspaper issues front cover to Michael Vick calling him “Top Dog”:

    Off The Chain

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Off the Chain is an unprecedented look into the underground world of dog fighting. Beginning with a history of the American Pit Bull Terrier, the film explores the evolution of the breed. Classic film and television footage show the popularity of what was once considered a noble and trustworthy family pet. Examine how this breed went from America’s dog to public enemy number one. Travel to the back alleys and dark corners of the inner city to expose the truth behind the breed’s new status in pop culture; an urban symbol for violence, aggression and gang-life. The first documentary of it’s kind; director Bobby J. Brown spent three years infiltrating the underground subculture of pit-bull fighting. Gaining the trust of well established dog men, they allowed him to film behind their dangerous veil of secrecy.

    Underground Dog Fighting
    Vodpod videos no longer available.



    US Dog Fighting Laws
    Dog Fighting in the UK

    8 Comments leave one →
    1. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
      October 12, 2010 5:34 am

      i do not buy into the notion
      that culture excuses vicious motion
      dog fighting, horse fighting,
      cockfighting and such
      do not use culture
      …as a crutch
      wrong is wrong
      blood is blood
      pain is pain
      and that excuse
      is mud!!!!


    2. October 12, 2010 6:16 am

      This is absolutely unbelievable! You can not be serious! OMG! I used to enjoy reading these articles, now I just think you should be boycotted immediately! How could you possibly expect anyone to believe the bond between animal and abuser is one of love? Did you fall on your head?


    3. Susan permalink
      October 12, 2010 10:33 am

      I am disgusted with this article. What are you trying to potray?? That dog fighters are normal, caring people??

      Dog fighters are cowards, depraved and cruel people. It is not the dogs who get “bored” but the “boring ” owners who have nothing better to do than get their dogs to do their dirty work for them, fight their battles, fight to the death, because they know they would not be able to do it themselves. Little cowards.

      These people make me sick and the sooner they are caught the better.

      Get these “monsters” off the street for good. PATHETIC.

      Poor little things attending to the dog wounds, as if they care. If they CARED they wouldn’t sit and watch their dogs being torn apart. Brainless morons.


    4. November 6, 2012 10:15 pm

      wow if a man honestly loved his dog he wouldnt have them fight and risk a chance of his dog being killed theres no bond in this just torture for the animal men like this should not own pits and they are the reason for killing this breed and leaving a sterotype to the general public this guy is sick would he like to be put in a ring without a choice and have to fight till the death i dont think so just another example of a fool ne ways i hope ur mind is more wise then that and i hope u see the wrong in this peace …i own 2 pits also and i would never do this to them


    5. January 5, 2013 6:14 pm

      Absolutely sick people without any kind of soul – I really think we should immediately reinstate the old gladiator fightings for this today’s human scum. Put the so-called hunters, trappers, animal-fighting organizers, people who bet at racings and fightings, poachers, fur traders, big aquarium corporation CEOs, zoo and circus visitors and staff, consumers of meat, milk and eggs from factory farming, factory farmer, fur wearing people, employees of animal testing laboratories and all the other hypocritical and ignorant human creatures together in big arenas and let them kill each other in bloody fightings til death.

      Obviously, bloody death fights are the most entertaining acts for the human majority – so why not reinstate this good old entertainment industry?!


    6. Jay Kessler permalink
      February 7, 2014 1:54 pm

      If you really loved your dog you would put him though the trama pain and fear of dog fighting. Would you put your own child in a ring and tell him or her to kill the boy or girl standing opposite of him/her? Dog fighting is disgusting and should not be encouraged. I would through in an arena with a angry pitbull and watch him bite and pull the flesh off your bones, feel every single bit of fear and pain you allowed your dog to feel. Horrible heartless immature men.


    7. July 28, 2014 5:21 am

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      Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.


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