Many Pets Are Used As Bait Animals
In response to a recent post about "pit bull-napping," a commenter left a message about the "bait dog" myth. Frequently voiced by pit bull advocates and animal agencies is the following: "Any pit bull in a shelter stands the risk of being stolen and used as a bait dog." The truth is, however, many dogs and other animals are used as bait animals -- the practice is hardly exclusive to pit bulls. One would not know this, however, by listening to pit bull advocates.
Pit bulls are often stolen so that they can be sold, most likely to dogfighters. As commenter Jersey puts it, pit bulls are too valuable as a possible fighting dog than to be used as a bait animal. Once again, we see pit bull advocates and animal groups twisting the truth about pit bulls and placing the "special needs" of these dogs above all other pets. Pit bulls clearly receive the lion share of attention and funds from shelters while adoptable pets get swept under the rug.
Comment: I think it's time we take a good, hard look at this bait-dog myth perpetuated by pit bull advocates and animal welfare organizations. If a pit bull is stolen, the shelter staff tells us it was stolen for bait dog purposes. If a pit bull has scars, it is adopted out as a former bait dog and is perfectly gentle and wouldn't fight. Now for a little common sense.
How long do you think an actual animal that refused to fight would last with a fighting pit bull that was bred for generations, conditioned, and encouraged for the purpose? I'm guessing not too long. Yet we are expected to believe that pit bulls and pit bulls only (because I don't recall any other breed of dog being adopted out as a scarred up former bait dog) can somehow withstand these attacks, possibly over a length of time gathering various episodes of scarring, escape the dog fighting compound while injured, and make its way to a shelter. To a logical person like myself, that just isn't a believable scenario to begin with, much less something that could occur as frequently as we are expected to believe. And further, why would you need a pit bull to be a bait dog? Wouldn't any dog or other animal do just as well, and mostly likely be better as there would be less chance it could injure your money-generating fighting dog? Stray dogs, stray cats, squirrels, rats, etc. would all make good bait animals that could be caught in a live trap and wouldn't be missed. The act of stealing, either from a shelter or a private home, brings with it great risk, so their needs to be a payoff for that kind of risk. And when the dogs being stolen are only pit bulls, that payoff becomes quite clear: these people expect to make money off these animals, not as bait dogs but as fighting dogs. Because the dog fighters know the breed better than most pit bull owners, that they all are fighting dogs at heart and that how you raise such a dog does not remove the genetic traits needed for the task of dog fighting. It just seems to me that pit bull advocates would have us believe there are more bait dogs out there than fighting dogs, and this overwhelming need for even more bait dogs. I would think that in a large fighting organization there is a steady stream of puppies, some better at fighting than others. It looks like they have their own built in supply of bait dogs, that is if all fighters even use bait dogs as part of their training exercises. It seems much more plausible that pit bulls are stolen as fighting dogs - to replace losing dogs and bring in a different gene pool for breeding purposes.
10/13/08: "Shuffling" a Pit Bull After a Dangerous Dog Court Hearing
10/12/08: Pit Bull Napping, Another Ongoing Criminal Trend
08/01/08: Comment: Create Advocacy Group for Animals Victimized by Pit Bulls