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Norwich Bulletin - 10/11/2009

Bloodsports - Part Two

Dogfighting is a “contest” in which two dogs – specifically bred, conditioned and trained to fight, are placed in a pit to fight each other for the enjoyment of the spectators while they gamble on the outcome. These fights average anywhere from one to two hours and end when the “loser” will not or cannot continue the fight. The wounds are often fatal. The dogs are rewarded for their faithfulness in fulfilling their human’s demands to fight, by being left to die. There is no veterinary care in this dark and cruel world of dog-fighting.

Dog fighting is illegal in all fifty states and a felony offense in almost every state. Recently, the reality that the dogfight still exists as big business came to light due to the Michael Vick Arrest. But it was going on long before Michael Vick came along, and still continues on today. Michael Vick just happened to have the bad luck to be the celebrity that got caught.

The injuries sustained by these dogs are the type that cause death hours or even days after the actual fight. Blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, as well as infection, are all causes of death. These poor dogs are trained for fighting. Man’s best friend, who will do anything for their best friend, will do what they are asked and they will be allowed to die if they fail.

And don’t forget that these dogs have to be trained. Stolen pets or animals obtained through “free to good home” advertisements are often used as “pit bait.” Cats, rabbits, and even small dogs are thrown into the pit with a dog trained to be aggressive toward other animals. It is the logical next step that these dogs will become aggressive towards people, especially children, who are perceived as another animal.

This is another case of being a “family affair.” Young children are present at these fights, which promote both an insensitivity to animal suffering, enthusiasm for violence and a lack of respect for the law. These dogs are used for a variety of illegal activities, which include drugs and have even been linked to homicides.

Dog Fighting needs to be a felony in every state. In states which consider dog fighting a misdemeanor, the profits are large and the penalties are small, so the “sport” is much more prevalent. The punishment for this crime needs to be severe, after all it truly is premeditated cruelty.

The spectators and gamblers should also be charged with a felony offense. After all, without them, there would be no huge profits, and therefore a lot less incentive to put on these fights. If the penalties were severe enough for the spectators, it might go a long way in helping to stop dog fighting all together.

Once more I am asking you to get angry enough and write to Washington – and to the states in which dog fighting is only a misdemeanor. Write to the media – write letters to anyone who you think might listen. We need to see that this crime is punished, and the punishment needs to be severe enough to be a deterrent to future fights.

We have enough cruelty in our world – We read about unspeakable things that happen. We need to start protecting the animals as well as the people.

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