In October of 2012, ARM investigators went deep undercover into the Fox and Coyote Penning Games in Virginia. ARM targeted the Pooles Facility, which has been actively running these games for over 20 years. Our investigators posed as hunters while infiltrating there society for the full duration of the four day event. ARM documented inside the pens as the dogs and hunters tracked the ‘bait’ foxes and coyotes to the fence line and ripped them apart alive.
ARM will be meeting with political leaders in the state of Virginia in order to educate them on their states “legal” barbaric game. Our goal is to have the games outlawed as many other states have already done. Infiltrating a four day and night game, from start to finish, has never before been undertaken in the United States by an animal welfare organization, until ARM.
This disadvantaged and outnumbered ‘blood sport’ involves packs of domestic dogs being released into fenced-off enclosures where captive coyotes and foxes are chased to the point of exhaustion and eventually ripped apart alive. The dogs are then given scores and points on their ‘victory kill’ whilst their owners gloat and cheer from the fence lines.
From start to finish, the journey for these foxes and coyotes once captured, is nothing short of torture. After being caught in the wild by the steel jaws of a leg-hold trap, trappers sell the animals to pen operators and proceed to pack them into over-capacitated cages with other injured animals to be shipped to various locations with no food of water. Often these animals are transported across states where this sport has already been deemed illegal. Many foxes and coyotes die on these long hauls due to injury, stress, starvation and lack of water.
Once turned loose, these scared and disoriented animals are released into the un-escapable areas for temporary relief. However their lives from this point on are eventually met with death either by running from blood thirsty dogs and being torn apart alive or due to death from diseases or injuries.
Penning is also cruel for the dogs. Often they are hurt during the chase by other dogs or by wild animals living within the enclosures. Often times the dogs are given steroids or drugs to enhance their endurance and aggression. ARM Investigators also have witnessed innocent dogs who have no desire to participate in the ‘games’, being dragged into the field and forced against their will to take part in bloody chases.
Children are often present as these games and are taken lightly as a family affair.