Battersea Dogs Home: 'More dog-fighting casualties'

Battersea Dogs Home says more animals are being dumped with injuries from dog-fighting.

The south-west London institution has taken in two dogs used for fighting in the past two weeks.

The creatures had tell-tale injuries such as infected wounds to the head and scarring about the muzzle.

Some 50% of the 6,125 dogs the home took in last year are bull breeds, such as Staffordshires or banned pit bulls.

The first fighting dog, one-year-old Rosie, was dumped at the gates of the charity late at night bleeding heavily and with severe injuries to her face, neck and legs.

Then it received a two-year-old pit-bull that had been abandoned on a London estate with a torn and infected ear.

The dog, named Bertram, displayed nervous and shocked behaviour around both people and other animals.

He also had scarring on his face - which the charity says is a symptom of being restrained with a chain while snapping at another fighting dog.

A spokeswoman for the home said Rosie and Bertram had "run out of luck".

Current dog legislation means the charity has a legal obligation to put them down.

Almost a third of the dogs the home receives have to be destroyed, either because of their injuries or because they are an illegal breed.

The charity has spoken out against young people owning bull breeds without appropriate training.

The home's director of communications, Dee McIntosh, said: "Battersea is on the front line when it comes to witnessing cases of irresponsible dog ownership.

"We have to deal with the consequences of such cruelty and we fear that these cases are on the increase."

Although the charity has no statistics to back up the rise in dog-fighting cases, it says anecdotal evidence leaves it in no doubt as to the growing problem.

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