VAN NUYS (CBS) — There is a brutal trend in the illegal dog fighting circuit that sacrifices smaller animals as bait to excite the dogs before they go in the ring.

CBS2’s Mike Dinow reports on “bait animals” and how more of them are being abandoned, clinging to life, and are in need of a good home.

“The bait allows the fighting dog to taste blood and allows that dog to think it’s OK,” said Kyle Schwab, who’s been rescuing dogs for the past 20 years and bringing them to his facility, “Smash Face Rescue”, in Van Nuys.

Schwab said 1-year-old “Zeke”, who is a bait animal survivor, was recently found on the verge of death. Zeke had dozens of puncture wounds and lacerations throughout his body. His swelling was so severe it led to an infection that restricted his breathing.

“His wounds, they’re all defensive – he has no offensive wounds,” Schwab said.

Zeke is one of many animals found abandoned and badly injured after they’ve been used as bait.

Lori Brooks of Hand, Paws and Hearts Rescue said she opened her dog rescue facility in Lancaster because hundreds of bait and other animals are being abandoned in the desert every year.

“They just drive out open the door and drop them off,” Brooks said.

Experts at the Humane Society said mostly very docile dogs and cats are used as bait animals because they won’t put up a fight. Usually, the only animals to survive are other pitbulls because of their high tolerance for pain and their ability to withstand unbelievable damage.

“Sometimes, they’ll cut their face up to draw blood on their face,” said Sasha Abelson, an independent dog rescuer, of how handlers treat the bait animals.

“People will steal family pets, cats, puppies and throw them into the rings to excite the fighting dogs,” according to Abelson.

Dog experts said fighting rings are in concentrated areas throughout Los Angeles, mainly in Pacoima, Panorama City, Sylmar and Van Nuys.

Schwab said as long as the people involved in these fighting rings continue to make huge profits they will continue to conduct dog fights and use defenseless bait animals to train them.

Authorities said you can qualify for a $5,000 reward by anonymously reporting a dog fighting ring by calling (877) NO2-FITE (662-3483).

Many of these bait animals are rescued and need good homes. To find out how you can adopt Zeke or another rescue dog e-mail or

If you’d like to help donate towards Zeke’s surgeries go to

Comments (30)
    1. Jackie says:

      This is so sick on so many levels. No animal should receive this torture. Bust those dog fighting rings and hang the owners by their toenails.

  1. Christina39 says:

    Another wonderful cultural advantage brought to America!

    1. Bobo says:

      Try doing a little research. Dog fighting came to the US from EUROPE in 1835. Or did you just want to make a clever little slur against Mexicans?

  2. Tyler says:

    Duke is a great dogg please some one that is looking for a great dog thats great with people and just a happy dog he needs a home and a loving family please help him out!!

  3. Christina39 says:

    Why would we care if you use different user names?

    1. Christina39 says:

      To Mike: You cut and paste so much I have it memorized.

  4. Jon says:

    and all this has what to do with this story ? what the hell are you even referring to ?

  5. kh says:

    Growa pair we are sick of your comments CBS you need to find this idiot and get him off the internet he makes us all sick Mike get a life your the one with the problem you need help

    1. Logan says:

      So what are you saying that bait animals being abandon and dog fighting in general isn’t a problem?

  6. Susan says:

    Ramona I will join you! Lets hunt em down and give em what they deserve. Slow torture in the worst possible way!!! SICK PIGS NEED TO PAY!!

  7. Lucywwjd says:

    I saw this poor baby when he was at the shelter and the rescues were trying to help him. It is amazing how forgiving these guys can be after being brutialized at the hands of humans. Awareness is so important to get the word out that this is STILL going on in our towns/state. I pray for the furry ones and pray that the evil and mentally sick humans get their judgement due. This will only stop if we all take a stand and report anything suspiciouse. You can help by rescuing, addopting from shelters and rescues and Don’t buy from puppy mills and stores that buy from them.

  8. Desperate Paws of Orange County Dog Club says:

    So sad to think that people find joy in the suffering of animals. I find joy in the suffering of people who want to make animals suffer.

  9. Bee says:

    Sick people do sick things. I cannot think of any loving, kind and decent human being who would not be abhorred by the thought of dog-fighting.

  10. AmandaW says:

    I would loove to adopt Zeke, he is beautiful

  11. Kaddi says:

    There is something seriously wrong or evil with anyone that finds joy and pleasure from watching innocent animals suffer. I sign every petition that comes my way to pass tougher laws for these monsters. If they can do this to animals what else are they capable of doing??

  12. Kaddi says:

    Make the excuses that you want. It is not the same thing. I am a vegeterian. But for those that enjoy eating animals for the majority there is not a thrill from watching a innocent animal suffer. The animals are killed quickly and instantly without a audience getting a sick thrill of joy watching something bleed, hurt, cry, and DIE! You don’t have to admit it but we know what you are……..EVIL!! Animals are just like people. They have feelings, get sick, feel pain, suffer neglect and depression, know love and loyalty! To love and understand a animal is to be capable of feeling. I don’t think you know what that means!! I do hope that someday you will meet your fate in the same manner the animals you watch or you torture goes through. I hope you feel every bite, every tear, the rip of your skin, the loss of an eye, the feeling of hopelessness, and MORE!

  13. Liz says:

    It makes me so sick to think this even goes on anywhere, let alone the US. I best just quit with the comments at this point and pray that we will see a change.

  14. Karen Saucedo says:

    SIck of hearing lame excuses for people who torture animals. I don’t care what the reason is. There is something missing from the psychological make-up of an animal torturer. The individual should NOT be walkign the earth with the rest of us. This is all about money. Torture, and abuse for money. Do you want to count on this person to call 911 if you catch fire? Do you want them near your children? AND, BEWARE THE RESCUERS of these poor animals. They need to be re-homed very carefully. Go to this Facebook page to read a very, very sad story: Charlie Brown – The Truth & Death of a Mascot.
    Poor Charlie would have been better off being euthanized. Bottom line, as a society we have got to put COMBINED weight on the courts in this country to pass laws, apply them, and jail these evil f*cks because they have NO business sharing space or oxygen with us.

  15. Linda Ann Reynolds, Ed.S. says:

    I suggest making the losers that are subjecting innocent animals to fight to be the bait. We need better enforceable laws to protect the voiceless from this sick abuse. We also need higher fines, and punative payment for the animals medical treatments. This sick fetish must stop. No creation should be subjected to the disgusting lust of others. This is sick at best, and most deviant in behavior. Cowards who are bored using the innocent for entertainment. Sick and disgusting.

  16. Angelina says:

    The low life trash are at it again.SICK!!

  17. Evelyn Ball says:

    Time for some extreme and harsh action as far as I am concerned. Anyone responsible for any abuse/torture of any animal should be shot. Who cares if they die….all the better for the rest of us and the animals who share this planet. They are not human and do not deserve any rights or sympathy. If we just keep slapping them on the wrist nothing will change. Sometimes you have to resort to extreme measures and I see no problem with that at all because I care more for the animals than the so called pathetic human animals responsible for these atrocities.



  19. Christina39 says:

    I can’t even imagine hurting an animal. I don’t even want want to think about it. It is too bad law enforcement won’t do something about it.

  20. Laura says:

    In the first place I would like to know what sick persons even go to these dog fights. The penalty for the watcher as well as the people that put them on should be very severe. So it is not worth getting caught and paying for the crime. The pain these poor dogs go through in unbelievable and should be stopped.just for the entertainment of some sick people.

  21. J.G. says:

    It’s horrendous that things like this take place. But please do not use a person like Sasha Abelson, someone who admittidly gets puppies off of craigslist and dumps the moms in the shelter, as a resource for my precious breed.

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