Animal fighting in Minneapolis
Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) regularly impounds live and dead animals with signs of having been fought. Although dog fighting is more common, cock fighting is also a problem.
What we do
MACC works with the Minneapolis Police Department and the City Attorneys Office to investigate and prosecute cases of animal fighting and animal cruelty. MACC’s veterinarians assess and evaluate animals for indications that they have been used for fighting, including scars, open wounds, crudely cropped ears and unusual aggression. Animal fighting is a felony and attending an animal fight as a spectator is a misdemeanor.
The impact of animal fighting
In addition to the obvious animal cruelty, animal fighting endangers the public’s safety. Animal fighting is often intertwined with other criminal activity, such as drugs, guns and domestic violence. When young children are brought to fights, they become desensitized to violence and are taught that animal cruelty and violence is acceptable.
Dogs that are bred to fight are not sterilized and have litters. When the pups from these litters are sold or given away, the aggressiveness that has been purposefully bred into the animal can have serious safety consequences for the families, friends, and neighbors of the dog.
How you can help
Due to the underground and mobile nature of this illegal activity, animal fighting is very difficult to investigate and prosecute. MACC needs the community to help identify potential animal fighters. You do not need to witness an actual fight to provide valuable information to help.
Here’s what you can do – contact MACC immediately if you see the following:
- A large number of pit bulls kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are chained and appear aggressive (remember, having more than three animals requires a permit in Minneapolis).
- Dogs with an unusual amount of wounds or scars on their head, face, and front legs.
- Dogs hanging by their jaws from heavy objects, pulling weights/chains, or being aggressively exercised by the owner.
- Dogs with weights or heavy chains hanging from their necks.
- Dog fighting equipment such as treadmills, "break sticks" (used to pry apart the jaws of dogs), "spring poles" (a large spring with rope that the dog jumps to grab and pull), and tires hanging from trees.
- Unusual foot traffic – both human and animal - coming and going from a location at odd hours.
- Dead animals in alleys or garbage and strays with severe wounds and scarring.
To report an animal fight in progress – call 911.
To report information about suspected animal fighting – call 311.
Last updated Oct. 20, 2011