I also came across the USDA Inspector General’s Office report on their investigation. This is what would have come out in court if these men hadn’t plead guilty and I don’t remember ever seeing this in the news coverage. It’s particularly applicable to his suitability for having a pet dog. This section describing his use of to known family pets as bait dogs is particularly chilling:
Unfamiliar with the horrors of bait dogs? Do a google image search on “bait dog”. Warning, it’s graphic . Imagine the worst wounds possible—the reality is even worse.
The report goes on to detail dogs being killed by hanging, shooting, drowning, electrocuting, and slamming on the ground until the dog’s neck & spine were broken.
This barbaric shit went on for 5 years. And now he has another dog. I don’t care how much speaking he does on animal welfare, someone who does these sorts of things, hears the sounds these poor dogs made, is broken.
Instead of a a Friday Fun video, I’m sharing a remarkable video of a dog being freed from being chained to a fence for his entire life.
The guy rescuing Alex is Steve Markwell, founder and executive director of Olympic Animal Sanctuary. Olympic Animal Sanctuary is a unique organization that takes dogs who have been deemed dangerous, that won’t be accepted by any animal shelters, and/or that are going to be destroyed because of behavior. Steve is giving these dogs a home for the rest of their life and working on their fears & reactivity to make that life as good as possible. (note: Steve is also my cousin)
Missouri has been known as the puppy mill capitol of the US, but they’re working to change that. The Canine Cruelty Prevention Act was signed into law in April and has been used to seize 73 dogs (Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, American Eskimos, Poodles, Beagles, Papillons & Brussels Griffons) from Linda Brisco of Monett, Missouri. She can’t legally operate a dog breeding facility for six years. Go Missouri!
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.)