ANIMAL abuse comes in many forms. One form of abuse which encapsulates both physical and emotional abuse is dog fighting.Dog fighting is an act which involves the encouraging and inciting of two dogs to attack and fight each other until one is either killed or too injured and exhausted to continue. This underground activity takes place in both rural and urban areas across the country, and the dogs used in these fights often end up with terrible injuries and are caged and kept in bad living conditions for their whole lives.According to the law, dog fighting is illegal, and supporting the act by allowing it to take place in your area, promoting the act for money or entertainment, or being in the place where such an act is taking place is a criminal offence. One can face imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record for breaking these laws. The loss of personal assets and denial of future animal ownership of animals are further penalties that can be faced when convicted of dog fighting.A source who wished to remain anonymous stated that recently there was an attempt to steal his dog by a group of youth, one of whom, a 12-year old boy, was caught by the resident’s son. The son then alerted his father, who then took this boy to the local SAPS where the boy admitted that he was attempting to steal the dog for use in a dog fighting ring in a nearby community. This incident was confirmed by SAPS.According to the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA), dog fighting affects all, as it forms part of a circle of violence, as animal abuse often links other criminal activities, such as violence and abuse of vulnerable people.The NSPCA states that dog fighting promotes a lack of respect for the law, insensitivity to suffering, an enthusiasm for violence, and involvement in other crimes such as illegal gambling, drugs, illegal weapons and theft. The NSPCA offers a reward for information that leads up to the arrest and conviction of dog fighters. To report dog fighting (whistleblowers can remain anonymous) the NSPCA can be contacted at 011 907 3590, or via e-mail atSIGNS OF DOG FIGHTING- Dogs kept on heavy chains or confined to small areas such as alleys, garages, or cages.- Residences or properties with multiple dogs that are unsterilised, unsocialised, or unfriendly to other animals.- Dogs that have evidence of repeated injuries (multiple scars or injuries on their bodies, especially their faces, front legs, chests, hind legs, thighs and ears).- Purpose-built fighting pits or makeshift fighting areas with blood stains on the walls and floor.- The presence of training equipment (such as slat mills, treadmills, springpoles or break sticks); veterinary drugs, or supplies and steroids.- Frequent or regular changes in dogs at a specific property. (As dogs are killed, new animals are purchased or stolen)- Groups of dogs being walked at unusual hours, especially late at night.