The truly shocking images show dogs who have been axed in the head, savaged with a machete, or blinded by their owners. Many others have been skinned alive, buried alive or simply left to rot and die, covered in agonising, festering sores.
Fighting dogs, usually pitbull terriers, are set against each other in savage underground battles which leave many dead. And, in this world of sickening machismo, if a dog is deemed to have 'disgraced' its owner further agonies may be visited upon it.
A spokesman for the Ethical Treatment Pit Bulls site (http://www.petopitbulls.blogspot.com/) said: “There are many reasons people are attracted to dog fighting. The most basic is greed.
“Major dog fight raids have resulted in seizures of more than $500,000, and it is not unusual for $20,000 - $30,000 to change hands in a single fight.
“ For others, the attraction lies in using the animals as an extension of themselves to fight their battles for them and demonstrate their strength and prowess.
“However, when a dog loses, this can cause the owner of the dog to lose not only money, but status, and may lead to brutal actions against the dog.
“For others, the appeal simply seems to come from the sadistic enjoyment of a brutal spectacle.”