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Both Bulldogs and Terriers were exported to the American Colonies by the beginning of the 1700’s, where both became well-established. There is a dispute as to when the first Bull and Terriers arrived. Some claim that the American Naval hero John Paul Jones brought Blue Paul Terriers to America as early as 1777, but this claim is highly doubtful. It is more likely that the first Bull and Terriers began to arrive from England, Scotland, and Ireland with immigrants in the 1830’s. These immigrants and their dogs greatly increased the popularity of dog fighting in America. Most of these dogs were of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier type. American breeders quickly discovered that Bull and Terriers were not only highly skilled at dog fighting, but were extremely useful as catch-dogs and hog hunters, a result of their Bulldog heritage. Although one of the most popular dogs in Britain, Bull and Terriers became even more popular in the United States. In America, these dogs became known as Pit Bull Terriers or Pit Bulls, because they fought in pits. Partially as a result of their use as catch-dogs, American breeders heavily favored the Bulldog part of the ancestry over the Terrier. American fanciers also greatly preferred much larger and stockier dogs than their British counterparts, especially when it came to the heads. Known as Yankee Terriers, Rebel Terriers, and many other regional names, American were easily the most common type of dog found in America by the end of the 19th Century, and were especially popular in Northeastern Urban centers and rural areas of the American South.

These dogs are still widely used for dog fighting in America, even though the practice is illegal.

Throughout its history, the ASPCA has fought for stronger laws against all forms of animal cruelty. A 1981 report commissioned by the ASPCA entitled "Dog fighting in America: A National Overview," concluded that dog fighting was more widespread than the public or law enforcement imagined and that stronger laws at the state and federal level were needed.

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Pit bulls also constitute the majority of dogs used for #illegal dog fighting in America Throughout its history, the ASPCA has fought for stronger laws against all forms of animal cruelty. A 1981 report commissioned by the ASPCA entitled "Dogfighting in America: A National Overview," concluded that dogfighting was more widespread than the public or law enforcement imagined and that stronger laws at the state and federal level were needed.

both sides brought fighting dogs to the battlefield ..

Dog fightinag is an insidious underground organized crime that deserves much legal and political scrutiny. The blood sport, once sanctioned by aristocracy, embraced by medieval gentry and later promoted by colonial and Victorian miscreants, is now completely outlawed in the United States. Notwithstanding the absolute prohibition in America, it has reached epidemic proportions in all urban communities and continues to thrive in many rural areas as well. The collective American conscience has long been repulsed by the undeniable brutality within the culture of dogfighting, but the law enforcement community has been regrettably lax in appreciating the full scope and gravity of the problem. Historically, the crime was erroneously classified as an isolated animal welfare issue, and as such has been predominately disregarded by law enforcement. The communities that have been morally, socially and culturally scarred by the menacing pestilence of dogfighting have paid dearly for the apathy of the legal community. From a very early age, children are routinely exposed to the unfathomable violence that is inherent within the blood sport. Even seasoned law enforcement agents are consistently appalled by the atrocities that they encounter at dog fights, yet the children that grow up exposed to it are conditioned to believe that the violence is normal; they are systematically desensitized to the suffering, and ultimately become criminalized. Dog fighters are violent criminals that engage in a whole host of peripheral criminal activities. Many are heavily involved in organized crime, racketeering, drug distribution, or gangs, and they arrange and attend the fights as a forum for gambling and drug trafficking. Within the last decade, enlightened law enforcement agencies and government officials have become cognizant of the clandestine culture of dog-fighting and its nexus with other crimes and community violence. Many individuals continue to deny the existence or scope of dogfighting in America, or they maintain that it is merely an isolated animal welfare issue; however, it is increasingly difficult to defend such an archaic notion in the face of overwhelming legal and empirical evidence to the contrary.

Animal Fighting Facts | Animal Legal Defense Fund