Wednesday, August 7, 2013

• Dog Fighting Doesn't Affect Me. Or Does It?

ASPCA Dog Fighting exhibit, with Dr. Randall Lockwood (right)
Below: How to TAKE ACTION

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
The Act would also enforce fines for forcing a minor to attend fights. That's right. Some spectators bring children. A child who watches a bloody, violent dog fight can be traumatized. A child surrounded by the culture of criminal activity around dog fighting—drugs, weapons, gambling, more—could, himself, become a criminal.

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."


7 comments:

  1. This is very powerful. Thank you. Bringing up that tax dollars are wasted in shutting down dog fighting is a great way to get even non-dog people to ACT!

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    1. Thank you. When I want people to take action, I think WIIFM—what's in it for me? People have to be affected to care about something, I believe. That's just human nature.

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  2. When I think about these horrible people that fight dogs I get so mad. I can't believe how some people can be so evil, and do something like that. I hope that they all get the punishment they deserve!

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    1. It's hard to imagine dog fighting as a sport. I hope the Animal Fighting Spectator Act is passed. Legislation and the outrage of people like you can help end the problem.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Very brutal act misinterpreted as a sport - sad, and unsettling. Something has to be done.

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  5. Such a barbaric act. Thank you for heightening our awareness today.

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