|ASPCA Dog Fighting exhibit, with Dr. Randall Lockwood (right)|
Before I saw an ASPCA exhibit about dog fighting, I would have said I wasn't directly affected by it. Now I'm not so sure.
"Dog Fighting: The Voiceless Victims" laid out horrifying tools of this unspeakable, brutal blood sport. A "rape" stand that immobilizes female dogs so they can be bred. A collar with sharp nails that antagonize a fighting dog. Skeletal remains of animals found at crime scenes.
"We want people to realize the brutality of dog fighting and see that it's the greatest violation of the human-animal bond," says Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. In May 2013 Dr. Lockwood lead a tour through the temporary exhibit, at the Crime Museum in Washington, D.C., for several attendees of BlogPaws 2013, a social media conference for pet professionals. (The exhibit is now closed.)
One solution is the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act. When I think about dog fights, I think of organizers, promoters, animal owners—Michael Vick, for example. Spectators are another key component. They may travel long distances to see a fight or gamble on it. If a fight is raided, principals can escape into the crowd. The Act would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight; major players could be apprehended.
|Members of ASPCA Government Relations staff brief BlogPaws guests|
I live in Fairfax County, Va., near the nation's capital. I thought dog fighting occurred in inner cities or rural areas. Yet in 2012 a potential dog-fighting ring was found in Fairfax Co.; law enforcement fears there may be more. My tax dollars are used for dog fighting. Children and animals in my community may have been victims.
TAKE ACTION in 2015!
April 8 is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day. You can take action!
• Ask the Department of Justice to #GetTough on dog fighters by creating harsher sentencing guidelines. Fill out this quick form and let the DOJ know that you support prosecution of this horrific form of cruelty.
• Visit the ASPCA's Fight Cruelty section to learn about its work against dog fighting
• Download a #GetTough kit on dog fighting
• See "Three Ways to Stop Dog Fighting that Take Three Minutes."