Over 400 pitbulls saved in largest dog fighting farm bust

“Dogs are literally tortured every day in order to force them to fight for their lives simply for the entertainment and greed of their owners and it happens over and over and over,” said an emotional Debbie.

Dog-fighting is banned throughout the United States and is a felony in 50 states. There are tough penalties for those people caught breeding dogs for fighting.

Yet, it still happens and is often hard to infiltrate as these dog fighting operations often take place in remote areas and involve a huge network of offenders.

Responding to several tip-offs, animal welfare officers in Missouri spent 12 months investigating until finally they were able to rescue these poor, tortured animals.

It’s reportedly the biggest dog fighting bust in U.S. history.

Officers expected to rescue more than 200 dogs, but eventually they had taken in 400 fighting dogs who were all in terrible condition.

In the video below animal welfare officers were close to tears recounting the state of these animals. Read on to find out what happened after they rescued them from these inhumane conditions.

The breakup of this horrific dog fighting breeding and fighting operation took 12 months to investigate but animal welfare officers were aware of the problem a decade ago.

“Because dog fighting is such a secretive underground criminal activity it’s extremely hard to infiltrate these groups and gather the firsthand evidence needed to bring them to justice.”

When they discovered the animals, they had missing limbs, eyes and ears and were chained with heavy collars in remote parts of a forest, covered in injuries and scars, some infected.

“Dogs are literally tortured every day in order to force them to fight for their lives simply for the entertainment and greed of their owners and it happens over and over and over,” said an emotional Debbie.

Because of the nature of this operation they had to secure a place for these dogs in secret.

More than half the dogs can find new homes

“We had the daunting task of creating a shelter for at least 250 fighting pit bulls, ultimately we brought in 407 of those dogs, and we literally were having to do everything on the fly,” Debbie explained.

They were told that maybe 5 to 10 percent of these animals could be rehabilitated and found loving homes but officers were able to determine nearly 60 percent that could be properly restored to health.

Debbie reached out to rescue centers across the nation and now more than half of these animals have a chance to find the loving homes they deserve!

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Some people may find scenes in the below video upsetting.

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102 thoughts on “Over 400 pitbulls saved in largest dog fighting farm bust”

  1. Bullshit this isnt what a fur baby is for. There to love and let exercise and be excepted in society as family and so are people. God is real people.

  2. Someone needs to be seriously punished and someone needs to go get all the dogs in Madison county Arkansas who live just like this in barrels. There tied to trees, I doubt think there fighting dogs but they are all tried top trees. There must be like 30 dogs out there they call this place the mudd house because its literally made of mud and tires all over the roof top. I’ve heard there’s no running water shop I have no clue what they ate doing for these poor dogs. No one ia doing anything as far as I Know to help them

    • Okay so the bust in the news is old news but, Pay attention to what Nelson is saying. He is telling you about dogs still suffering in Madison County, Arkansas. Ge behind the Arkansas case, get something done to help these dogs.

      • Hey David,
        This is not old news, this is the largest dog fighting ring found as of today. How can you be so callous. YOU need to get behind a cause and if Arkansas found this ring then it would be okay for you? Besides, Nelson can’t type a proper sentence without typos.

    • Hi Nelson,

      My name is Amanda and I work in PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department. We would like to talk to you about this situation in more detail to see if we can help in any way. Can you please email us at CIDinfo@peta.org with more information?

      Thank you, and we hope to hear from you soon!

      – Amanda
      Cruelty Investigations Department, PETA

    • Hi Nelson,

      My name is Amanda and I work in PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department. We would like to talk to you in more detail about this situation to see if we can help in any way. Can you please email us at CIDinfo@peta.org with more information?

      Thank you, and we hope to hear from you soon!

      -Amanda
      Cruelty Investigations Department, PETA

    • Nelson naming the county is pretty vague, which city?

    • Have you reported it to the local authorities… you know there’s a 5000 or 10000 reward for reporting dog fighters if they’re taken to court

  3. I wish the name Pit Bull would disappear. These are most definitely mixed breed dogs. I bet many of these dogs were stolen from loving homes because they had a certain look. The more these animals are known of as Pit Bull, the more they are set up to be desired by the wrong people. And hated by people that don’t understand or refuse to listen to the atrocities that happen to these dogs in vast numbers. I hope all involved in this ring are found, prosecuted to the fullest and receive harsh penalties.

  4. Disgusting and unacceptable! These scumbags should be given a year for every dog you had to rescue. Just throw away the key! Oh but first put big chains on them with no water or food.

  5. Thankfully these are safe makes you wonder how many more are suffering like this poor innocent dog’s

  6. I am so ANGRY right now I am in tears!! I hope and pray that those involved in this heinous crime are put in heavy chains and are forced to live out the rest of their miserable sorry lives in a 55 gallon barrel!! And every once in a while go cut off one of their limbs or cut them and let them go without medical treatment!! I can’t quit crying!!
    I am so ANGRY!!

    • I see this article about a dogfighting right snd breeding broke up. It says there is a video. I read all 71 comments never a video on the breaking up of the offense of the illegal dog fighting ring why the people who ran it I hope you really did catch those people I know it still goes on and it is wrong they need to be severely punished so I hope this isn’t just a hoax that somebody through this on the internet for people like me to see and we sat here hoping that this is true and you really did catch these idiots

  7. Once again I’m so ashamed to say we live in MO. Known as the number one puppy mill state in the nation and now one of the largest dog fighting bust made. Missouri needs to spend the money to hire enough people to stop this horrible abuse of the puppy mills and of the dog fighting ring that hide out in rural areas. It’s the right thing to do. Spend some of my tax dollars to stop animal abuse in MO.

  8. Even the dogs that have not been fought, can still be a danger from the environment alone.
    What they see from the time they’re puppies, stays with them.
    Be very careful when bringing a fighting ring dog into your home, especially if you have other animals or children.

    • I’ve got one in my bed right now. 3 kids in the other room and she has 0% animal agression. Her bff is a 10lb cat. She’s less dangerous as it too.

  9. The OUTRAGE of dogfighting is ONE of the reasons that I insist on diligent and thorough screening for every dog that is rehomed through Cause for Paws, Inc. – whether s/he has been rescued and living with one of our fosters, or whether it’s an emergency situation where the dog must be rehomed immediately to avoid being taken to a public facility where s/he will be killed.

    I ALWAYS screen, not only to avoid preventable problems, but also to find the best “fit” in the interest of both the human(s) and the dog.

    In the case of a Pit, even when I worked the County Death Row List every week, 2/3 of adopters were rejected! Thorough research turned up dogfighting rings INCREDIBLY often…and with adopters that 90% of people would trust completely and feel GREAT about as a “happily ever after” story!

    A typical scenario: a fresh-faced young woman with a 7-year old boy in tow tells you how she wants her little boy to grow up with a Pittie as a best friend, just like she did. She tells you that they want to save a life, and have been looking at rescue Pits online for weeks.

    Suddenly last night, little Junior called her over to his iPad and said he’d found his dog! He’d fallen in love with Sparky’s eyes, and she and her fiancé loved him too – so it’s a family decision. Neither she nor her fiancé has ever had a pet as an adult…
    but they have a fenced yard and a vet picked out…
    Sparky will be an inside boy, and will sleep with her son…

    Isn’t this SWEET, and doesn’t it sound perfect? I have seen it way too many times to be either charmed or assured. We NEVER adopt dogs out on the spot to anyone! I give her an application, and ask her to get it back to me in one of several ways ASAP.

    Once I get it, my work begins! Sometimes it’s as simple as finding the significant other on their FB page, checking HIS FB page…and there stand 8 Pits on chains in a wooded area with him and 2 other equally sketchy looking guys.

    Sometimes there IS no male significant other in her life…

    Sometimes I drive by her house and there is no fenced yard…and barking coming from inside the house.

    Sometimes I call the vet she has picked out…and she is already a client, who has brought in 5 pits for rabies shots in the past year…None have been seen again.

    The smaller and medium sized dogs obtained all over FB free by this same woman, which she no longer has and claims to have rehomed, were more than likely used as bait dogs in this dogfighting ring! At best, she is a flipper…but I doubt it. She obtained several free cats as well.

    I well understand the public advertising animals, INCLUDING sweet Pits, on FB, Craig’s List and more, free and with no screening – and I offer FREE NETWORKING on my page with about 30K animal lovers, including my creating a post with the type of photos and biography that appeal, and taking all calls and doing all screening myself, and even providing volunteer transport to other states when possible.

    Education and free assistance are all I know to do!

    There are local RESCUES, however, who not only DON’T BELIEVE IN SCREENING, EVEN FOR PITS, but who are ACTIVELY AGAINST IT!!!

    They insist on giving ALL ANIMALS, FREE, ON THE SPOT, TO THE FIRST TAKER, HAVING ADVERTISED THEM HEAVILY ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!
    Their rationalization is something along the lines of “any home is better than being dead…and almost all people are good anyway…”.

    Newsflash: when two of us ran the County Death Row List, we had only 48 hours to get every animal adopted or rescued. It was an emotional roller coaster!

    Nonetheless, we took the high road, insisting on a safe home for EVERY dog and cat, and making sure that the dogs and cats were the right fit for the adopters. Rejecting 2/3 of every applicant for Pitties, we still managed to place EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL FOR 2.5 YEARS!!!

    Of course there were some adoptions that didn’t work out (less than 10).

    Our local High Kill facility, however, has no Adoption Counseling, no Screening, no programs in place AT ALL. Anybody can adopt any animal as long as s/he has a driver’s license! It makes me very sad to see these big male pits walk out with smirking young males with huge attitudes, obviously proud of the new “property” they have acquired. Sickening when you know what will happen next!

    Are animal advocates and county employees REALLY this naive, are they in DENIAL…or do they just not CARE???

    • 100% love your comment. Free adoptions weekends from pounds are the absolute worst. They kill us smaller rescuers trying to do it right, that rely volunteers and donations only. Adopters don’t understand why we charge when they can get a free dog, sometimes even an unaltered one from poorly managed broke shelters and rescues that choose not to do their homework. Just move the dog off the street, out of the shelter, to a home, mission accomplished.

    • I read your comments in there entirety and was so moved and impressed of how well you have explained the scenarios of these diabolical people. I know how true you speak. Bless you I wish that we could put your comments in every new paper in the country.

  10. They should make the sorry people fight themselves to the death! Would be a lot less evil in this world. They should rot in prison!

  11. It makes me want to vomit knowing that they knew about the situation decades ago and did nothing till now. Better late than never, yeah, but think of all the lives lost in those “decades”. Shit needs to be stopped.

  12. Why is the photo an old photo off the internet? I’ve used this photo in an animal cruelty lecture for the last 4 years.

  13. When will this end?
    Why a year to investigate? NO NEED for it.
    A lot of guilty people here. There were DEFINITELY people who knew, those who lived near, those who heard of this taking place……….
    Knowledge of this a decade ago?

  14. This is NOT Recent. Fact check people Google ” Dog fighting bust in Missouri ” or over 400 pit bulls rescued in Missouri. For GOD’s SAKE…get updated. This happened in 2009 ! be accurate when advocating for animals. Otherwise you lose any credibility.
    https://www.missourinet.com/2009/07/09/nearly-450-pit-bulls-being-treated-after-fighting-ring-bust/

    • How do you know this is the same one, the article you reference does not show the same numbers as the above one does.

    • If you’re advocating for animals, it shouldnt matter when it happened. Also, did you ever think that maybe it’s possible there was another bust? Because there was. Its been 10 years since the one you posted about.

  15. The video wasn’t attached , I hope the owners spend the rest of their lives in prison.

  16. until the Judges inflict death penalty on these assholes it will never stop The lawyers should not represent theses guys

  17. Why all that time and suffering for the tortured dogs???
    Makes no sense

  18. Ty God they are saved . We NEED AN ANIMAL MAFIA TO DO AWAY WITH THESE EVIL BASTARDS WHO PARTICIPATE IN DOG FIGHTING .

  19. Please keep saving these innocents,😢😢

  20. Thankyou to all involved for saving these poor dogs I just don’t understand why it took a year I have had my pit for 2 months now and I am very happy I made the choice to take him out if shelter the sadness of just knowing all these dogs will not be able to adopt because of what they have gone through God bless everyone involved in rescue

  21. Thank you for saving these dogs & giving them a 2nd chance!

  22. These people should be punished to the fullest extent of the law! There’s a special place in Hell for those no good bastards!😡

  23. A pitbull wants can please their owner they will go to any extreme because of that’s what they’re accustomed to they don’t know any better they don’t know they’re being trained to fight is a holes that do this and then the rest of the world Miss judges the sweetest most loyal loving furbaby on Earth I have had 5 in my lifetime I have one now and I’m almost 70 years old these are not bad dogs they are the most loyal the most loving fur baby that you could have Mom sleeps right beside me every night and I wouldn’t take $1000000 for her now as far as the jerks that ran this place treat them the same way then people will stop abusing and mistreating animals these little finds that they have to pay they don’t care they’ve made Millions off of these innocent babies

  24. I hope rescuers really stand up for these dogs. Almost all of the Michael Vick dogs were saved. I hope they get Best Friends in Utah involved. They were successful in saving some of the worst MV dogs.

  25. I am very appreciative and grateful that the Missouri Animal Welfare officers investigated and fought hard to rescue hundreds of dogs from this horrid existence. I am grateful that they spent their hard-to-come-by resource on such a noble cause. I wish it hadn’t taken a year. I would like to think they were able to charge and convict all those responsible. Thank you.

  26. Thank you for saving these dogs.

  27. I am so distressed upon reading this article, these poor animals being treated so abysmally, they didn’t ask for this to happen.I hope to God they are caught and sent to prison for life .

  28. Thank you for saving these poor tortured doggies. They deserve love and attention. I really hope there are severe punishment for those responsible.

  29. These poor dogs. Even the ones that are too aggressive and have to be put down. It’s not their fault they are like they are. They were taught to be that way by himans and now must lose their lives for it. And the ones who do live, they are scarred for life. These people need to and deserve to be charged and found guilty with a hefty sentence and large fines. At a minimum! And I think they should have to repay for all of the dogs medical needs and shelter rent and have to pay all the professionals their hourly wages for all the time they had to put in to deal with this issue. Literally, nail these people to a wall!

  30. So happy they were rescued and hope they find loving homes

  31. Debbie who?

  32. Punish them people to 100 yrs in prison for the torture of the dogd

  33. Thank you for saving these dogs. I hope the offenders were arrested and charged with the crime

  34. The officers that rescued these dogs are SUPER AWESOME!I LOVE THEM FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!

  35. As a resident of this state I am disgusted by the amount of concern for our animals. We consistently rank #1 in puppy mills. year after year. My dog is a normal pit bull- loves every human she has ever seen. I do have to always keep her on a leash when walking her and i never take her where other dogs are not on leash as she is not safe around other dogs. But I never took any of other dogs out without a leash, so it is just normal routinee.

  36. Please treat these dogs with LOVE & RESPECT. THEY DESERVE ALL THE LOVE THEY CAN GET!

  37. Well done to all involved in saving these dogs.

  38. Thank you to everyone who saved these dogs! Hopefully they can be retrained and become loving pets or loyal service dogs! Salute to all involved in this humanitarian rescue! God Bless!!!

  39. These Abusers and offenders should be prosecuted to fullest. How can someone be so heartless etc. Tougher laws. Jail some kind of education about treating these precious creatures w love kindness. Fined heavily should have to pay for animals medical bills etc long jail sentences for these creeps with no compassion etc unforgivable long Parol Probatin etc
    Tired of ignorant stupid ppl. The animals are smarter than that and have more love

  40. OMG! But the final outcome was good. I own Pitbulls, two, who are kind and loving to each other, other dogs and people. I hope they all find great and loving homes.This breed is so sadly miss understood, and their kind nature and positive reputation is destroyed by people like this. I also hope they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law!!!!

  41. The people that tortured those poor animals should be in jail and never be allowed in the civilized world again, what these people have done is humanity at it’s worse !

  42. I hate what they do to the bully breeds. They were uneducated as to why that breed is built tuff. Scum suckers. They are the sweetest friend to have.

  43. This is a great heart warming story. Love that such dedicated people did this and managed to save these poor fur babies 👏🤗🤔♥️😭

  44. I have been trying to save animals especially pit bulls most of my life , this is absolutely awful , I no that more than half the dogs will be killed thru no fault of there own , I hope and pray you have found these people and do what should be done with them 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔

  45. My heart is broken for these poor animals. We need to spread the word! Who attends these events? We need to catch these people and convict with highest punishment to set the expectation that this crime will not be tolerated!!

  46. Those involved should be put in a pen so they could fight to the death as the dogs watch!

  47. Thank goodness these poor sweet innocent creatures have been saved!

  48. Who ever is behind this I truly hope they are Prosecuted to the full extent possible, this a disgrace to this breed and why people are scared of them a lot of times. When truly the breed has nothing to do with it, it his the human that made them do it. This a very sad, I have 3 pitties and they are the most loving and caring breed I honestly have had! Please do not give them a plead bargain on this!

  49. We need stronger Laws and make Breeding Elegal.

  50. There is no video!

  51. Thank you to everyone for helping these poor dogs ,and electric chair for those responsible ..

  52. PLEASE stop the dog fighting.Dogs and all animals have feelings and feel pain. PLEASE HELP THEM.. PLEASE.

  53. If I had a lot of money I would pay BIG money to anyone willing to help bring people like this to justice. I would offer a lot of money for the successful prosecution of these monsters. I rescue and rehab Pitbulls and I am absolutely devastated at the suffering that this breed continues to endure. Please pray for me to win the lottery. I will use all the money I win for that singular purpose. We can all dream I guess.

  54. I hope these monsters are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law

  55. Everybody that was involved in the crime should be tortured themselfs and then locked up for life.

  56. it sickens me n breaks my heart, pitts have been a all time family protector n companion, vry loyal n loving. I feel for the animals since i hav in the past takn in many pitts from sad conditions….. I thank all who saved them n all who work with them to place them in lovin home💞

  57. Obviously the punishments are NOT SEVERE ENOUGH to stop this hell!!

    This is happening all over the country!

    We MUST DEMAND HARSHER PENALTIES for those running AND ATTENDING dog fights!!

    National Tragedy!!

  58. dreadful of the persons that did this they should be shot why do they have to make the poor dogs suffer thanks to the persons that saved them

  59. Animals need rights and animal abusers need harsh punishment!

  60. THEY KNEW ABOUT THE PROBLEM A DECADE AGO?????? AND THE STUPID LAW IN THIS COUNTRY COULD NOT ALLOW TO TAKE CARE OF THIS RIGHT AWAY?????
    10 YEARS???
    IMAGINE THE SUFFERING AND THE NIGHTMARE!

  61. I don’t see this story being carried at any other news site, so I’m wondering if this is a real event or not.

    If anyone has a link, please provide it. I’d like to know a few names, such as arresting officers and alleged criminals.

  62. I second Angi on that “it sickens me n breaks my heart, pitts have been a all time family protector n companion, vry loyal n loving. I feel for the animals since i hav in the past takn in many pitts from sad conditions….. I thank all who saved them n all who work with them to place them in lovin home💞” I have a rescued pit, and she is my most loving creature ever.

  63. These evil people should get serious jail time. The breed isn’t bad , the people that raise them are , especially black and spanish people , they mistreat these poor animals until they’re just mean.

  64. I’m in logan utah but I’d give one if those babies live like they’ve never had before if possible.
    I rescued one over a year ago and she’d love a companion.

  65. Are the puppies safe and do they have homes? Cause I have one pitbull and could use another

  66. Hope they are going to jail on this. If they don’t only the prosecutor is to blame. 😎✌

  67. There are fights with dogs because there are people who like and pay to see death! Shits happens because there are bad people and they like to do bad. who does evil to a dog also makes an human. I’m sorry but some people are casting mistakes.

  68. I would lock the rotten bastards responsible in a pen with the most vicious dogs and let nature take its course

  69. Dog fighters should be put to death, period. Too damn lazy to work for a living, no respect at all for life, NONE. Up to me automatic death sentence…garbage, lower than whale crap, plain and simple….

  70. What county and city was this. I am in Missouri. Thanks.

  71. Good, now those monsters should all be put to sleep before they eat some random 10 year old.

  72. Y’all care more for animals than black peoples!!!!!
    Just wish we had the same distaste when injustices happens to us
    If you haven’t seen the show on Netflix “When they see us please watch and thanks for the people who see what’s happening and speak out cause being silenced is just like the persons who’s continuing this atrocity

  73. I say an eye for an eye! Chain them up and make them fight each other to the death and not treat any of their wounds! Then maybe they will understand what they have done.

  74. Notice how chill these dogs look, did you ever think these dogs may have been hijacked from a Pitt no kill rescue shelter in order for the ASACP to promote stem cell research?
    Btw try watching PBS or at least the BBC.

  75. SPAY & NEUTER !!!!! OVER TORTURE & DEATH!

  76. Don’t believe in dog fighting or Pitts .Don’t think they should be period.

  77. What, no mention of the names of those arrested.

  78. Is there a website or place we can look at the saved dogs? My father in laws red nosed pit bull Prince went missing almost two years ago and I’m praying we will still find him. We think he may have been stolen from my inlaws huge property as he was a big baby who wouldn’t hurt a fly. No he was not chipped unfortunately. Please is there a way look at pictures of the dogs saved?

  79. Can some one please help me? I would love to adopt 1 or even 2 if the dogs if we are being allowed to. If anyone has any info on how to please email me at JohnnyWSmith41177@gmail.com

  80. Where can you adopt some of these game dogs? love you give one these beauty’s a loving home.

  81. How are operations like these still occuring? This case sounds upsettingly like the Micheal Vick case. Afterthat horrific story I’m shocked another has happened. Step up people, don’t be a fool just standing by! Be a hero!

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