Somewhere in Baltimore this weekend, men will probably herd two pit bulls, both heavily muscled from weight training and driven mad by recent starvation, into a field or the cellar of a vacant rowhouse. They’ll toss a weaker animal – a cat, rabbit, or a blinded dog – between the canine gladiators and then set them loose to tear one another apart, says the Baltimore Sun. The dog that inflicts more puncture wounds might win hundreds of dollars for supporters and be hailed as a champion. The loser might be left to die in an alley.
“It’s been slowly rising,” Robert Anderson, city director of animal control, said of complaints about dogfighting. “And part of that is that neighbors are starting to stand up.” Based on informant tips, cities such as Baltimore, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles are centers for the blood sport. Authorities are concerned not just because of the animal cruelty involved but also because they’re linked to criminal activities such as drug dealing, gun running, and gambling.