Alert on pet dogs used for fighting

CRUEL dog fighting rings are operating in Glasgow, says an animal welfare group.

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Alert on pet dogs used for fighting
Alert on pet dogs used for fighting

And some owners fear that pets are being stolen to fight and to be used as 'practice' animals for other dogs in the barbaric illegal blood sport.

It comes after a family told the Evening Times they believe their pet was stolen, potentially to be used as bait, by a dog fighting ring.

Buster's owners, Eileen and Michael Bray, of Erskine, fear he has been brutalised by thugs who took him to use in dog fighting.

He has yet to be reunited with his owners due to the effects of his ordeal, after being found earlier this week.

Jennifer Dunn, senior public affairs officer in Scotland for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "Dog fighting is a horrific and cruel practice. It is tantamount to torturing dogs and the animals they are forced to fight. It is illegal for good reasons.

"We know dog fighting goes on, including in Glasgow, and anyone with any information should report what they know to police."

Linda Ess, founder of Lost Dogs Scotland, has given a warning to people about using classifieds websites to give their dogs away.

She said: "People involved in dog fighting will place adverts on websites, saying they are looking to rehome a dog free.

"But these adverts are fake, they do not want to rehome the dog – they want to use the animal as bait for dog fighting.

"These people will go to great lengths to get their hands on dogs for free.

"Some will even bring children with them to pick up the dog, to give the impression the dog is going to a loving, family home.

"But that is far from the truth. Never give your dog away free on these kinds of websites.

"I would urge anyone who is giving away their dog, for whatever reason, to do it through proper channels and use the Dogs Trust or Scottish SPCA.

"These organisations often have waiting lists and you may have to wait a little while before your dog is rehomed.

"But it is worth waiting to know your dog is going to a proper home and will not end up being used as bait."

Ms Ess, whose organisation helps reunite owners with their lost or stolen pets, added: "Dogs being stolen is a huge problem, particularly in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, and it is getting worse, with all sorts of breeds being targeted by thieves.

"Some of these stolen dogs will end up being used for dog fighting.

"Dogs are being stolen from gardens, homes and even from the streets.

"Incidents where people jump out of cars, steal the dog, and then drive off are also becoming more common."

A man who walks his dog at Pollok Park said he had heard stories about animals being stolen.

George Brown said: "The stories are rife at the moment and everyone is warning you not to put notices on your gate warning people you have a dog.

"I heard gangs were targeting owners by putting a small dab of paint on gates as a marker."

Police have urged dog owners to be "vigilant".

A spokeswoman added: "Owners should try not to leave their dog unattended whilst out walking or within their garden.

"Report any suspicious activity to police on 101."

The Evening Times this week highlighted the ordeal of Eileen and Michael Bray, and children, Andrew, 6, and Jessica, 4, whose Border Terrier and German Shepherd cross, Buster, was snatched while it was on a lead being held by Mrs Bray.

It was later found in the area, but Buster had been badly mistreated and starved.

Mrs Bray, 38, said the family feared their dog was stolen by people involved in a dog fighting ring.

She said: "It seems they have been trying to encourage Buster into becoming an aggressive dog.

"Because he is still so young, he is ideal for being trained to fight."

Police are still investigating the theft of Buster.

Dog baiting has been banned in Britain since 1835 under the Cruelty To Animals Act. Those caught taking part in the activity face up to a year in jail, a £20,000 fine, or both.

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

readers reacted furiously to the Evening Times' report about Buster being stolen, potentially to be used as bait, by a criminal dog fighting ring.

Terence Jones, of Kinning Park, Glasgow, said: "It's terrible that a beloved family pet was snatched for such a cruel thing as this.

"It would be interesting to see what the sentence is for people convicted of this sort of crime or dog fighting, although I have a feeling it is not nearly enough for the misery they cause."

Brian Martin, from Broomhill, Glasgow, said: "Why does the justice system not come down really hard on these thugs? These animals are loved pets and deserve to be treated well."

Johnny Mack also slammed the thief that stole Buster. He said: "There is no end to the depravity some so-called humans will sink to satisfy their cruel 'sport'. I hope the police get a grip on this scumbag soon.

"As for Buster, I am sure with the right treatment and plenty TLC from the family he will soon be back to his normal self."

Stewart Douglas, from Bearsden, said: "It is incredible anyone could do such a thing.

"The penalties for anyone involved in dog fighting should be much stiffer because I do not think it is taken nearly seriously enough."

CRUEL dog fighting rings are operating in Glasgow, says an animal welfare group.

And some owners fear that pets are being stolen to fight and to use as 'practice' animals for dogs used in the barbaric illegal blood sport.

It comes after a family told the Evening Times they believe their pet was stolen, potentially to be used as bait, by a dog fighting ring.

Buster's owners, Eileen and Michael Bray, of Erskine, fear he has been brutalised by thugs who took him to use in dog fighting.

He has yet to be reunited with his owners due to the effects of his ordeal, after being found earlier this week.

Jennifer Dunn, senior public affairs officer in Scotland for the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "Dog fighting is a horrific and cruel practice. It is tantamount to torturing dogs and the animals they are forced to fight. It is illegal for good reasons.

"We know dog fighting goes on, including in Glasgow, and anyone with any information should report what they know to police."

Linda Ess, founder of Lost Dogs Scotland, has given a warning to people about using classifieds websites to give their dogs away.

She said: "People involved in dog fighting will place adverts on websites, saying they are looking to rehome a dog free.

"But these adverts are fake, they do not want to rehome the dog – they want to use the animal as bait for dog fighting.

"These people will go to great lengths to get their hands on dogs for free.

"Some will even bring children with them to pick up the dog, to give the impression the dog is going to a loving, family home.

"But that is far from the truth. Never give your dog away free on these kinds of websites.

"I would urge anyone who is giving away their dog, for whatever reason, to do it through proper channels and use the Dogs Trust or Scottish SPCA.

"These organisations often have waiting lists and you may have to wait a little while before your dog is rehomed.

"But is it worth waiting to know your dog is going to a proper home and will not end up being used as bait."

Ms Ess, whose organisation helps reunite owners with their lost or stolen pets, added: "Dogs being stolen is a huge problem, particularly in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, and it is getting worse, with all sorts of breeds being targeted by thieves.

"Some of these stolen dogs will end up being used for dog fighting.

"Dogs are being stolen from gardens, homes and even from the streets.

"Incidents where people jump out of cars, steal the dog, and then drive off are also becoming more common."

A man who walks his dog at Pollok Park said he had heard stories about animals being stolen.

George Brown said: "The stories are rife at the moment and everyone is warning you not to put notices on your gate warning people you have a dog.

"I heard gangs were targetting owners by putting a small dab of paint on gates as a marker."

Police have urged dog owners to be "vigilant".

A spokeswoman added: "Owners should try not to leave their dog unattended whilst out walking or within their garden.

"Report any suspicious activity to police on 101."

The Evening Times this week highlighted the ordeal of Eileen and Michael Bray, and children, Andrew, 6, and Jessica, 4, whose Border Terrier and German Shepherd cross, Buster, was snatched while it was on a lead being held by Mrs Bray.

It was later found in the area, but Buster had been badly mistreated and starved.

Mrs Bray, 38, said the family feared their dog was stolen by people involved in a dog fighting ring.

She said: "It seems they have been trying to encourage Buster into becoming an aggressive dog.

"Because he is still so young, he is ideal for being trained to fight."

Police are still investigating the theft of Buster.

Dog baiting has been banned in Britain since 1835 under the Cruelty To Animals Act. Those caught taking part in the activity face up to a year in jail, a £20,000 fine, or both.

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

READERS ANGRY OVER BUSTER THEFT

readers reacted furiously to the Evening Times' report about Buster being stolen, potentially to be used as bait, by a criminal dog fighting ring.

Terence Jones, of Kinning Park, Glasgow, said: "It's terrible that a beloved family pet was snatched for such a cruel thing as this.

"It would be interesting to see what the sentence is for people convicted of this sort of crime or dog fighting, although I have a feeling it is not nearly enough for the misery they cause."

Brian Martin, from Broomhill, Glasgow, said: "Why does the justice system not come down really hard on these thugs? These animals are loved pets and deserve to be treated well."

Johnny Mack also slammed the thief that stole Buster. He said: "There is no end to the depravity some so-called humans will sink to satisfy their cruel 'sport'. I hope the police get a grip on this scumbag soon.

"As for Buster, I am sure with the right treatment and plenty TLC from the family he will soon be back to his normal self."

Stewart Douglas, from Bearsden, said: "It is incredible anyone could do such a thing.

"The penalties for anyone involved in dog fighting should be much stiffer because I do not think it is taken nearly seriously enough."

Pets

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