Recently, a team of rescuers from Clewiston Animal Control were tasked with the collection of a stray Russian Blue from a local neighbourhood. When they inspected the cat they discovered it was covered in purple paint, a sure sign that the animal had been intended for use in some sort of hideous spectator sport.
According to TheAnimalRescueSite.com, cats are often used to bait dogs prior to a dog fight and to raise the canine competitors’ blood lust. Each unfortunate cat has its face and paws painted with an identifiable colour in order that spectators can bet on the outcome of the pre-match gore.
'Mr. Purple Paws' safe at last
The cat found, which has already been fostered by a family and renamed Mr. Purple Paws, was initially taken by Clewiston Animal Control to Megan Sorbara of Florida’s Naples Cat Alliance. For Sorbara, her coming face-to-face with actual evidence of the existence of dog fighting was harrowing.
‘I consider myself pretty hardened to a lot of stuff,’ she told TheAnimalRescueSite. ‘I have dealt with a lot of injured, emaciated, neglected and abused animals but this one really got to me.
‘Dog fighters use markers to color the white parts of cats and kittens so they can bet on which color will die first,’ she continued. ‘They are ‘color-coded’ and then thrown to packs of dogs, while these sick barbarians place their bets. This is cruelty at its worst.’
Despite the outlawing of dog fighting in Great Britain in 1835 the sport is still played out in ‘disused spaces, parks and front rooms,’ according to The Sun.
The newspaper’s shocking report last year (2018) revealed that, 'between 2006 and 2015, the RSPCA received more than 4,800 reports of organised dog fighting, and secured 137 convictions for dog fighting-related offences'.