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The Most Abused Dogs on Earth

Written by Heather Faraid Drennan | November 28, 2011

Rocky, like so many other pit bulls, was used as a living burglar alarm. He was kept outdoors in all weather extremes, chained to a flimsy doghouse, with no life, no love―no nothin’.

Brutus had broken free of his chain and gotten his ear nearly ripped off by another dog, but his owner was oblivious to the extent of the injury―not that he had made any effort to find out how severe it was. Instead, he just chained Brutus up again and went back inside his own warm, comfortable home, while Brutus cowered inside his doghouse.

These are just two of the countless pit bull cruelty and neglect cases that PETA’s Community Animal Project and Emergency Response Team have dealt with recently, and the abuse and neglect of pit bulls in particular seem to be getting worse. Everyone knows that animal shelters are full of these vulnerable dogs. Pit bulls are left at shelters in record numbers—and since they are difficult to adopt out, reputable shelters (that don’t slam the door in the dogs’ faces) are finding that they must euthanize more pit bulls and pit bull mixes than all other dogs combined.

That’s why we are trying to stop pit bull abuse at its roots by preventing pit bulls from being born into a world that largely views them as cheap bodyguards, burglar alarms, punching bags, and back-alley gladiators. No one needs to bring even one more dog into this world while there are so many still homeless.

PETA’s mobile clinics provide no-cost to low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to hundreds of pit bulls every year, and we’d like to push that number even higher. Love pits and don’t want to see more of them tied up by tractor-trailer chains or torn up like Brutus was? PETA has now launched a special fund through which all donations will go toward free pit bull spay and neuter surgeries. Click here to make a donation today to help prevent more pit bulls from falling into the wrong hands.

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  • Pitbull says:

    And people wonder why so many Pit Bulls attack humans? There is no other single breed that is as abused as the Pit, on top of that you take into consideration the amount of morons adopting these dogs, who have NO business doing so in the first place. It’s a recipe for disaster! Pit Bulls are GREAT dogs, under good responsible owners! It takes a responsible owner to own a Pit, not some moron who liked the IDEA of a Pit Bull. Anyone who tries to blame the breed is an idiot.

  • kati says:


  • KMS says:

    The problem is real pit bulls are not very good guard dogs, they were bred to be other animal aggressive, not people aggressive, originally. I have read that some bad people have changed this, by probably breeding in traits of true guard dog types, so essentially, what I originally owned 23 years ago, a true pit, people friendly, but other animal aggressive, may not be what you pick up in a shelter. To get a shelter dog, you have to rely on the assesment intake at that shelter. It is truly sad what people do to this breed. In the finial end, if the breed was banned, psycho’s would only find a new breed to abuse. The only solution is REALLY TOUGH Jail time for any kind of animal abusers…like this photo, like this dog. God, when will this END?

  • hailey says:

    i just hate people that dont even care about there dogs and who think that there dogs or puppies are a piece of crap. Those people dont even get heart broken when a dog is really suffering from abuse. But the people like me who hate dog abusers feel like part of our hearts are missing or are our heart is totally broke. And dogs are wonderful cause god created them for them to be loved and cared for not to be abused every second of there lives.

  • jessica says:

    Hey Brittney (comment on November 29, 2011) get off your arse and lend PETA a hand to criminalize dog-fights. They can’t do it alone. And besides…they’ve been working toward that goal for YEARS!!!!

  • Ursula Schmidt-Jordan says:

    Stop begging for funding which in the end enables the wrong doing to do more wrong. Some people have no concience…will have dogs and dump them into the care of the shelters. Instead of pushing for funding to take care of the dogs…push for legislation that dogs are no longer considered property and that people who want a dog will have to have a dog-handlers license.

  • LindaWebb says:

    This is absolutely horrific. How can anyone be so cold and cruel is beyond belief. I hope what goes around comes around!

  • DeeLovesPets says:

    I have awesome toy dogs a Morkie and a Shorkie both pups. Believe me, no one can come near my house without them letting me know. They “sound the alarm” and if someone tries to enter,that someone will meet my “friends” Mr Mossberg and Mr Kimber.


    People who subject their dogs to such abuse are monsters. And,if they need an innocent, vulnerable dog to protect them,they are not just monsters, they are COWARDS too! Shame on all such people who want something else to do their dirty work for them. If all you want is a dog for protection, hire a human being to do it and pay them. If you are in such danger or so threatened you need a dog for protection, you probably deserve to be. If I was a dog, I’d probably bite you myself.

  • jenn says:

    I rescued a Pit mix off the streets a little over a year ago. I was unaware that she had any pit in her, being that she is solid black and it was nighttime when I scooped her up. Once I got a good look at her, it was obvious she was part pit by the shape of her face and her stocky build. Being that I’ve only seen them from a distance and just had stories to go off of, I have to admit I was a little frightened at first. I had no idea what kind of past she had and it was blatantly obvious she had been physically abused by the way she cowered on the floor in front of me. I put her on the waiting list at the humane society, but after reading about how black dogs, on average, are usually the last to be adopted along with the added adversity she faced with her breed, there was no way I could let her go. I had grown too attached and she had changed my perception about the breed. I would rescue another one without thinking twice.

  • Mike D. says:

    In response to Lisa – Are you nuts? So in your opinion, we should kill all dogs that look like pit bulls? Yeah, that will stop the problem. Maybe you should bend down on your way into the shop and actually meet one of these great dogs BEFORE agreeing that they should be KILLED. I have an adopted Pit Bull who was used a bait dog by some idiots. Thank God you and some of these other nuts didn’t run the shelter or he’d be dead! He now brings joy to schools and hospitals as a Therapy Dog. He has never met a person he did’t like. Maybe we should put down (KILL) all Greyhounds so people cannot race, profit or abuse them? Silly isn’t it? We need to care for ALL living animals in shelters and if appropriate, find them good homes. STOP the idiots from fighting should be the focus. If all of the Pit Bulls go away, they will just settle on the next breed. maybe you weren’t around in the 60’s and 70’s when the Dobermans, German Sheppards and Rottweilers had their turn! Love all, not kill some!

  • lisa says:

    I have to agree with Britteny’s comment “like most animals they get beaten abused and starved” think that applies to all types of dogs and what about the dogs and cats used for bait to train these animals that get ripped apart alive. Dont think they are the most abused dogs on earth when Greyhounds are forced to run and killed at age 2 or 3yrs old or the dogs that are bred into or sold to laboratories, pitbulls are only abused because people let them be just like any other animal, you have no laws or protection for animals in the US.

  • Erica says:

    People can be so stupid. It ticks me off that Pits are getting a bad rap because their owners are idiots. the PEOPLE that own aggressive animals that have a clean bill of mental health, should be punished, not the animal

  • C Modena says:

    People who abuse animals have no place in this world!!!!

  • Irene Leggett says:

    As already said, pitbulls are not allowed in the UK but we have a very similar problem with our Staffordshire terriers. They are abused, tortured, tormented and abandoned in their thousands every year. Our rescue homes are full of them, but once again, its the uneducated, ignorant and indifferent owners who are to blame. Our local rescue rehomed nearly 200 staffies last year but only had to euthanize 2 through sheer aggression. Shame on all ‘owners’ who are not responsible and caring with any dog.

  • Denise says:

    My pits are well loved. They are such gentle creatures. My female pit is no where near aggressive a loving girl who, I swear, if someone were to rob my house, she’d run and hide under my bed, lol, glad I have an alarm system otherwise, living in Minneapolis I could be in trouble. Anyways, I do not understand how people can be so abusive towards these animals or any others for that matter. Sad how “humans” could be so inHUMANe.

  • Victoria Monaco says:

    I agree totally with Grant Johnson. I recently rescued a beautiful white pitbull from the streets and she’s terrified of people. She was used for mating and chained up outside. She’s very playful with me and loves to cuddle up. Pitbulls are sweet dogs until the wrong person gets a hold of them. They are only aggressive if they were raised to be. Her name is Daisy and she’s about 2 years old. I have 3 other rescue dogs as well.

  • Angelique Kenney says:

    This kind of abuse really &%$*#$@ PISS ME OFF! Just because so idiots need to feel tougher they want pitbulls, they have NO IDEA who pitbulls are. They are actually called the “nanny dog” because they were entitled to protect and care for children, yes kids and little ones! We do have pitbulls and my husband’s family grew up with them. They are SUPER loyal, loving and they will lick you to death because of their huge heart. Our dogs are so eager to please, cuddle and dream to sleep in bed with us – which they get to sometimes – they are the best dogs I ever owned and we have so much to learn from them! The best is our male, each time we come home, he greats us with one of his favorite toys of the moment and bring it to our feet, how cute is that – with NO training or request! Think what you want, I am a pitbull advocate and can’t bear watching the abuse done to these misunderstood dogs. Dogs are like kids, love them and discipline them correctly and they will grow up strong and well behave, forget your kids, be a unloving and un protecting parent, disregard your kids and scream at them and it’s the same as raising them in a cage! Dog cannot speak or dial 911 when hurt, they will rather take it because they love their owners despite the abuse and the mistreatments. I hope you now have a clearer view of these poor animals.

  • Brittney says:

    I love people who take the time to help these dogs Pitbulls are the underdogs. They love people and love their families but like most animals they get abused and beaten and starved and they also get thrown into a pit with another pit to fight to death or almost. I am a hunter fisher and a outdoors person and grew up with a farming family when you say peta we just grummble. But if you help these dogs and help get these fight rings shut down I would be the first to applaud you.

  • Lisa says:

    Pitbulls are banned here in the UK and also any dogs that are mixed bred and found to have pitbull in them, unfortuantly when found they are destroyed, it do’s break my heart to say i totally agree that they be destroyed i say this for the dogs sake, UK gangs and young people here want dogs that look like pitbulls, the tougher looking the better,its not caring for the dog here its status pure and simple, they want to look good walking down the road with a powerful dog and the general public ARE scared of them. I admit i am, when i go to my local shop and they tie them outside when they go in the shop i walk as far round them as i can, i know its not dogs fault it’s the idiots that own them and how they bring them up. I am an animal lover, a vegetarian and have rescued abused animals and in the process of adopting a rescued ex racing greyhound but if we dont have laws these poor animals will continue to be born purely for the way they look and will end up having a terrible life and abused. As regards to Grant Johnson’s comment changing the public perception is more critical to improving the well being of these dogs, i think your living in cockoo land quite frankly, while these dogs are still available there will still be the demand for them no matter how much you try to change public perception.

  • Ariel says:

    This is why i hate humans, some of them have no soul.

  • Grant Johnson says:

    I’ve volunteered my time to help out at spay/neuter clinics for the last 10 years, and I have a pitbull who was badly abused in her past, and who’s early photo’s are arguably more gruesome than those of Brutus, above. That being said, I still think PETA is aiming a bit off with this topic. Pitbulls are not being abused simply because they exist, they are being abused by horrible people who see them as tools, rather than animals. Of course spaying and neutering is important, but changing the public perception of pitbulls is, in my opinion, more critical to improving the well being of these great dogs.

  • brianna says:

    I have a pit bull mix and she is the sweetest thing in the world!! she is not scary at all (although she tries to pretend she is) it makes me sick to think of anyone ever hurting such a precious dog. I seriously believe that it should be required by law to take a test before you get any kind of animal.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    What happened to Brutus owner when the extent of this poor dog’s was discovered? I hope the owner was fined heavily for the neglect of this dog. It looks as though the poor creature’s ear canal is entirely exposed. And what happened to Brutus?