Recently the Supreme Court announced that it will decide next term whether videos of animal cruelty and dogfighting are constitutionally protected by the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!
Posts Tagged ‘dogfighting’
Wednesday morning officers from multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies made arrests and seized dogs in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahma, and Arkansas.
“This intervention is a momentous victory in our ongoing battle to end the cruel, criminal dogfighting industry,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS in a press release. “The Humane Society of the United States thanks the USDA Office of Inspector General and the Humane Society of Missouri for their commitment to eradicating this nationwide business enterprise that thrives off the pain and suffering of dogs. With each raid we get one step closer to ending this cruel blood sport.”
For more than a month the HSUS has been doing logistical preparation for the raids, transporting equipment and specialized emergency shelter kenneling for hundreds of dogs to Missouri.
Dozens of HSUS experts and volunteers have gathered to provide animal handling, transport, sheltering and documentation assistance. Many of the dogs rescued from these dogfighting operations will be taken to the emergency shelter in specially designed animal transport vehicles provided by the HSUS.
Each dog will be evaluated by animal behavior experts from the Humane Society of Missouri and other organizations. This will help determine their suitability for possible placement with rescue groups or individual adopters.
This rescue operation is a great example of how national and local animal welfare organizations can work together to combat the animal fighting industry.
In light of Michael Vick’s imminent release from prison, and his consequent readmittance into the NFL and life in the spotlight, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is asking animal lovers to urge the NFL to require Vick to undergo psychological testing for anti-social personality disorder (ASPD), or psychopathy. ASPD is characterized by a charismatic personality combined with behavior that includes lying, manipulation, taking pleasure in others’ suffering, and aggression, all of which Vick has displayed. The danger presented by people with ASPD is that they appear incapable of true remorse and therefore are dangerously susceptible to repeating anti-social behavior displayed in the past. By clicking here, you can send an automatic letter directly to the NFL requesting that Vick be administered the test for ASPD before taking the field.
For more information about dogfighting and ways that you can make a difference in the animal community, visit PETA.org.
Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to one count of promoting dogfighting, possibly commuting his prison sentence and smoothing his return to the NFL in the process. Under the plea deal, a count of cruelty to animals was dropped, to which Vick pleaded not guilty. Each felony count entailed a prison sentence of up to five years.
Vick is currently serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, KS, for funding a dogfighting ring at his home in Virginia. His release from prison is scheduled for July 20, 2009. At the Tues., Nov. 25 hearing, he was handed a three-year suspended sentence. He has also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.
The significance of the plea deal lies in the fact that it resolves the remaining charges against Vick, allowing him to move from prison into a halfway house, designed to transition his return to society.
Although expressionless for most of the hearing, Vick did issue an apology, telling the judge, ”I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model.”
And if you’ll excuse a bit of editorializing …
Being thoroughly unacquainted with the finer points of our legal system, I have no idea what a halfway house actually entails or, for that matter, how the employees of such an institution help a person at the helm of our celebrity-obsessed society transition back into it, adoring public and all. I am not quite cynical enough to presume that Michael Vick was less than sincere when he uttered his apology in court today. I am cynical enough, however, to fear that his crimes may tend to (perversely) elevate his celebrity status once he reemerges on the football field, particularly among his less humane-minded fans.
I confess to being all but oblivious to what happens in the NFL, so the game’s brutality is at least as striking to me personally as its strategy. Which leaves me with that unsettling bit of cyncism—and mistrust—that Michael Vick fans will be all too easily mollified by his spartan apology. And I’m not ripping on forgiveness here. It’s the forgetting part that makes me uneasy. The crime was too heinous for us to forget, and I’m sorry, but sorry doesn’t begin to cover it.
I’ve always been a sucker for animal shows, from the light and fluffy like Pet Project from the late 90’s (does anyone remember this show? It featured Kevin Frank and his Boston Terrier, Daisy) to more recent, more serious shows like Animal Cops.
If you’re a fan of the more serious animal shows, you may be interested in a new program that will premiere on Animal Planet on Sunday, August 24 at 10pm EST. It’s called Animal Witness: the Michael Vick Case. The hour-long program will feature interviews with specialists like Dr. Melinda Merck, senior director of Veterinary Forensics for the ASPCA and Annemarie Lucas, Supervisory Special Investigator for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team.
The Michael Vick case generated a lot of buzz in the animal rights community, this will be a good opportunity to get more facts and expert opinions on the subject.
Several companies make them, this site claims to have the original.
For more information on the ASPCA’s fight against animal cruelty, visit FightCruelty.org.
Rapper DMX was arrested on drug-related and animal cruelty charges in Arizona after a raid on May 9. It was a busy week for the rapper behind “The Year of the Dog… Again,” as he was also arrested on the previous Tuesday for driving 114 miles per hour on a highway.
Those with longer memories than I have will remember that DMX was convicted of animal cruelty in New Jersey in 1999 for housing 13 pit bulls in tight cages. He later agreed to to record a public service announcement against cruelty as part of his plea deal. It seems that he didn’t take his own PSA too seriously, as when the Maricopa County sheriff arrived as his property, they found five Pit Bulls on his property. During last summer’s raid, authorities discovered 12 malnourished Pit Bulls as well as the bodies of three dogs buried in the back yard.
It’s so frustrating that despite all the education and information out there, that people—thousands of people—still participate in dog fighting. I hoped that in the aftermath of the Michael Vick case, that we’d see celebrities come out against dogfighting (and many, many did, and I applaud them). Here it seems like we’re back where we started. Perhaps DMX just wanted to appear tough; a recent study conducted by the University of Chicago and HSUS found that “the appeal of dogfighting to youth originates from the desire to appear “tough,” to work out street or gang conflicts, and to combat boredom and even poverty.”