As odd as it may seem, Michael Vick may be the best thing that ever happened to the pit bull. He gave the forum to discuss this and make it possible to get the message out there that these dogs are not what they’ve been made out to be in the headlines, that they really are just sort of dogs. And a lot varies from each one to another and then how they’re raised and socialized and all of these issues that go around them. You can find the sweetest, most loving pitbulls in the world and you can find other dogs that are as mean as you want.
The Michigan State University College of Law has a very informative page on dog fighting that covers the history, the training, the culture, the societal cost, the criminal links, laws and legal issues, and evidence, including less obvious things such as the drugs/vitamins/medical supplies used. You can also find out about the signs of dog fighting. And the Humane Society of the United States has a FAQ on dog fighting. (Note: None of the these pages have gruesome photos of dogs showing the barbarism of dog fighting. They do have a wealth of information.)
Happily, a humane response has been developed in the form of The (C)ave Canem Project. The project promotes and facilitates the adoption of dogs by Italians and foreign visitors. Besides vaccinating and spaying, the organization also provide each dog with a European Passport making it easier for foreigners to adopt. The Project also feed and care for the dogs within the ruins.
I’d much rather bring a dog home from a trip than some touristy tchotchke. Wouldn’t it be cool if other countries developed similar programs for their stray animal problems? (thanks Jennifer!)
Sadly, the first part of Stanley’s story is all too common. Shelters are filled with dogs & cats who need just one person to step up and change their life. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but please consider adopting before you ever buy a cat or dog. Pure bred or mixed breed, juvenile or adult, spotted striped or solid, short hair or long, big or small, any possible color or temperament—whatever you’re looking for is out there, but most of them don’t have a lot of time. And don’t forget there are rescue groups for all sorts of animals: reptiles, ferrets, pocket pet, exotics, horses, goats. Please adopt!
I recommend reading the whole post to see their good suggestions and the reasons behind them, but here are some of my favorite points.
adopt from a shelter
use pet-friendly deicer on sidewalks
compost dog poop
contain your pets
Topped only perhaps by habitat destruction, cats are the biggest, baddest bird killers of all time. Even wind turbines have got nothing on them. …[D]omestic cats do have an unfair advantage. Unlike wild predators, house cats are always well fed, well rested, and in tip-top fighting shape. They’re also present in more concentrated (and rapidly increasing) numbers than say, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike.
There are also tons of links to articles and useful websites, so check it out!