Towards a Typology of Dog Fighting: An Examination of Motive and Behavior Typologies and Recommendations for Criminal Justice and Mental Health Practitioners

Cathryn Lavery, Heath Grant, Kimberly Spanol


Dog fighting has not received adequate attention from the field of criminology, law enforcement, or mental health.  Dog fighting is directly linked to the activities of gangs and organized crime.  This paper reviews the scant literature regarding what is known about dog fighting, in hopes of generating a discussion to develop more practical typologies to aid the investigation and treatment of this disturbing form of animal cruelty.  Dog fighters are divided between professionals and hobbyists that can reap significant financial rewards for these events.  However, greater attention towards understanding the pathways of dog fighting and the link to other criminal activities may help eradicate this illegal blood sport.

           Key words: dog fighting, animal cruelty, typologies, humane education, animal rights, green      criminology, environmental justice, gang activities


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