Authorities have arrested and charged a man accused of using a small, feral hog to train his dogs at his home in Polk County, WFTV News reported on May 14.
The hog, which weighed about 50 pounds, was placed in a fenced pen with three grown dogs in the backyard of the suspect's home, according to the Polk County Sheriff's report.
Using dogs to fight feral hogs is called hog dogging, or hawg dawgin,' hog baiting and hog dog "rodeos." The dogs, are also called “catch” dogs.
“Hog dogging” is a brutal bloodsport in which the hog is penned with (usually) several dogs which corner and attack it. Pit bulls, but also hound breeds or cur dogs are used. “Hog dogging” is a felony in Florida.
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The Polk County suspect videotaped the event as the dogs barked at, tormented, chased, attacked and bit the hog in the left ear several times, officials described.
The suspect posted the video of the incident on Facebook, along with photos of a dog hanging by his teeth from a tire in a tree--another training exercise for fighting and baiting, authorities said.
Deputies said the suspect told them he placed the dogs in the pen with the hog to train them to “catch” hogs. He said the hog in the pen was later killed and eaten.
The suspect surrendered five dogs and another feral hog located on the property to the Polk County Sheriff’s Dept.
He was arrested and charged with training dogs for fighting and baiting.
The Animal Fighting Act
Section 828.122, Florida Statutes, is "The Animal Fighting Act." Subsection (3) of the statute provides that any person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in section 775.082, section 775.083, or section 775.084, Florida Statutes:
"(a) Baiting, or using any animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting any other animal.
(b) Knowingly owning, managing, or operating any facility kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal.
(c) Promoting, staging, advertising, or charging any admission fee to a fight or baiting between two or more animals."