A woman has shared a devastating photo of a dog to highlight the risk of selling or giving away dogs online.
The woman who posted the photo to Facebook explained the dog was a ‘bait dog’, meaning it was used for dog fights.
“He is safe now, but look close, look at the defeat in this baby’s eyes, look at the scars and imagine what this dog went through,” the woman wrote.
“Now, realise when a dog is given away FREE and no one checks out the people who pick up a free dog, no one ask for a reference, no one checks the home....that dog can end up just like this!”
The woman urges people to be careful when rehoming dogs, explaining sometimes people who indulge in dog baiting often appear “normal”, or if they are male, ask a female to pick up the dog as women appear “safer”.
The post also warns against giving away dogs for free, instead suggesting people should charge a rehoming fee.
“It’s a red flag if they have an issue with paying a simple $25-$50 fee,” the woman said in the Facebook post.
This devastating photo has been doing the rounds on social media since September this year. The photo was first shared by ‘Save a Shelter Dog’ on Facebook.
The dog is in fact an 11-month-old female, called Mia.
“Fyi, this is what a real bait dog looks like. These are scars from a survivor of a cruel blood sport for the entertainment of scumbags,” the initial Save a Shelter Dog Facebook post said.
It is understood the dog was at BARC Animal Control in the United States.
However, another post which uses the same photo of Mia argues even a $25 rehoming fee does not ensure the safety of the dog.
“If you are rehoming a dog, at the very least you should care enough to either know or get to know the people whom you give it to,” the public post from a man posted in September says.
“Ask questions. Ask for references. Do a home visit. Don’t just be in such a hurry to rid yourself of the inconvenience that you hand that dog to the first smiling stranger that shows up ready to take your ‘free dog’. It’s called safe and responsible rehoming!”
Dog fighting isn’t just happening in the US, it is also a reality in Australia.
Advocacy group Humane Society International (HSI) says Australia has a dog-fighting problem, even though it is impossible to gather data.
“Our suspicions are that it’s more prevalent than people have realised and our concern is that it is growing,” Nicole Beynon, Head of Australia Campaigns at HSI, told Yahoo News Australia back in August.
“We know that because of the chatter that we see on the (American-based) dog-fighting networks and there are Australians involved in that.”
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