As medieval as they sound, dogfighting rings are still a feature of modern society. In the United States alone, it’s assumed that the number of people involved in the illegal activity numbers in the tens of thousands.

Thankfully, at least some of those responsible for such horrific practices are being punished—and the internet is helping with that.

When a photo of a poor pit bull from South Africa—with its mouth duct-taped and body chained—went viral, it caused an uproar the world had never seen…
As atrocious as dogfighting is, it’s still something that’s practiced all over the world. It’s not incredibly popular, thankfully, but the fact that it still happens at all is inexcusable. One photo in particular that came out of a South African dogfighting ring hit the Internet and sparked worldwide disgust.

This is the photo that sparked outrage all over the world. The bait dog was chained, while the fighting dog was encouraged to “practice” by attacking her. After authorities saw the vile image, they got to work tracking down those who were responsible.

It’s never easy when law enforcement officials receive photos like the one above. The dogfighting rings are never advertised publicly; you almost always need an inside connection in order to join. Would officers ever catch the men in the photo for allowing the gruesome scene? And if they did, would they be able to save these dogs in time?

It was going to be a tough search, but after seeing the stomach-churning picture of the two pit bulls relentlessly ripping each other to bits, authorities knew they couldn’t stop the investigation until the people responsible were behind bars.

When Wendy Wilson, the Senior Inspector for the N.S.P.C.A. Special Investigations Unit, got ahold of the picture, she launched an all-out charge. South Africa had pockets of areas where this grotesque activity was frequently on display, so she arranged for several teams to travel around to see if they could find any leads.

Officials traveled to various areas that were known to host this underground “sport.” As soon as they arrived to each location, the locals scattered, not wanting anything to do with the police. They knew what they were doing was incredibly illegal and inhumane.

Officers found dozens of poor dogs locked up in small cages. There was no room for them to move around and barely enough space to sleep comfortably. These dogs were bred to feel nothing but anger and aggression toward other canines.

Police were heartbroken at every location they visited. Malnourished dogs filled small kennels, and many of the animals already had severe bruising and scarring from previous fights. No animal should ever have to live a life of this kind of abuse.

Police freed every single dog they found and transported them to local shelters all over South Africa for emergency medical treatment. Even though the police saved many lives, when one fighting ring shut down, they knew another one usually sprang up somewhere else.

Thankfully, four of the men responsible for the brutal act were taken into custody after a thorough investigation. The video below is tough to watch, but it gives an in-depth look at this reprehensible and illegal activity…
(Warning: Video contains graphic images. Image preview may not load; please click “play” to start video.)