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August 29, 2013

Facility Used in Dogfighting Ring Raided in Costa Rica

Humane Society International/Latin America

  • Authorities suspect four of the dogs are from bloodlines imported from criminal dogfighting enterprises in the United States. SENASA

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica–Fourteen dogs were confiscated during a raid of a dogfighting facility on Saturday, Aug. 24. Costa Rica’s Animal Health Service, known as SENASA, and Costa Rican law enforcement authorities, with support from Humane Society International/Latin America and American Stafford Costa Rica removed the dogs who were apparently used for breeding. Authorities suspect four of the dogs are from bloodlines imported from criminal dogfighting enterprises in the United States.

SENASA has conducted three raids against major breeding and fighting facilities in Costa Rica over the course of the last year, resulting in more than 30 dogs' being spared from a life of suffering.

Allan Sanchez, director of SENASA for San Jose, said: “Finding these very specific bloodlines in Costa Rica proves that the level of organization and the resources of these dogfighting rings is on the rise. But with the support from Humane Society International and American Stafford Costa Rica, we are determined to continue in our efforts to bring this practice to an end.”    

Following veterinary and behavioral assessments, the rescued dogs undergo a rehabilitation process which, whenever possible, will place them out for adoption with families.

Cynthia Dent, regional director for HSI/Latin America, said: “The cruelty of dog fights goes beyond the confines of the fighting grounds themselves, virtually translating into lifetimes of mistreatment and pain for countless animals every year. SENASA and the Costa Rican authorities can rest assured that HSI will stand by their side in this ongoing fight.”     

In dog fights, animals are conditioned from an early age to fight to the death. Even when they prevail, dogs used in these events are scarred and permanently maimed, often dying of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion or infection hours or even days after the fight.

In addition to their inherent cruelty, dog fights are an illegal yet prevalent fixture in some areas of Costa Rica, often going hand in hand with gambling, drug dealing and illegal gun sales. HSI provides resources and assistance to Costa Rican authorities working on animal rescue operations through a strategic partnership with Costa Rica’s Animal Health Service.


Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440; rcontreras@humanesociety.org

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute the world’s largest animal protection organization. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Based in San Jose, Costa Rica, HSI/Latin America is active in programs related to companion animals, wildlife and farm animal welfare. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—on the Web at hsi.org.

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