Idaho’s Silver Lining to Michael Vick Dog Fighting Media Frenzy

Idaho Capital Building

If there is a silver lining to current media attention on the criminality of dogfighting, it has to be the attention that people themselves are putting on dogfighting in general. The fruits of this attention may begin to pay off in Idaho.

There are only two states where dogfighting is not a felony; Idaho and Wyoming. And, until recently, it looked as if it would remain that way, even though Idaho Representative Tom Trail had been trying to make dogfighting a felony in Idaho for three years. He was ready to give up the fight, each time the bill dying in committee.

But since the media has been zeroed in on Michael Vick and his dogfighting enterprise, people everywhere (including Idaho) are picking the bill back up, but this time with a lot more support. Idaho Governor Butch Otter is backing the idea, and Representative Trail has heard it from his constituency loud and clear: “I’d say nine-tenths of my e-mail, phone calls and mail all revolve around this issue.”

Of course, if there is to be a silver lining, the story can’t be forgotten now that Mr. Vick has plead guilty. The media at large may have a short attention span, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to join them. Keep your eye on the ball, Idaho.

Idaho readers are welcome to update us on progress in the comments. Wyoming, too. There’s no reason there should be a state in the union where it isn’t a felony to participate in this barbaric non-sport.

Source: Spokesman Review

Photo: icadrews at flickr

18 Responses to “Idaho’s Silver Lining to Michael Vick Dog Fighting Media Frenzy”

  1. Lynn says:

    Let’s hope that Idaho and Wyoming make it unanymous. Let’s all be on the same page regarding this issue.

  2. EmilyS says:

    well, I live in WY and I can assure you that dogfighting is NOT a major problem. A recent story in the Cheyenne paper tried to make it an issue, but ALL the quotes from law enforcement were to the effect that it just wasn’t something they saw, and that we have plenty of laws that would impose strict penalties on anyone convicted. Not to mention the federal penalties

    Certainly, we should make it a felony.. but don’t imagine that this will make the slightest iota of difference. Moral cretins who want to fight dogs don’t consider the penalty. Do you think Michael Vick did?

    Indeed continuing the HSUS/PETA hysteria only serves to demonize the dogs, and make them even bigger victims. They fund their organizations in part by hyping dogfighting as a major societal problem. And by insisting that the dogs, many of which are completely innocent victims (not even fighters), all be killed, they make it difficult for responsible shelters to adopt out pit bulls to responsible potential owners.

  3. expat says:

    Just because dogfighting is not a problem in WY now does not mean it will not be a problem next year or the year after that. The US is a highly mobile country.

  4. bengals says:

    Lynn & expat — I couldn’t agree with you more!

  5. Joe Edore Sr says:

    BRAVO to representative Trail and down with all SCUM like VICK and
    those who think that dogfighting or ANY animal fighting is acceptable!!!

    Joe Edore Sr.

  6. Brad H. says:

    Idaho and Wyoming are two states which are attempting to wipe out the Northern Rockies wolves, pretty much destroying the efforts of conservationists who have struggled for years to bring these animals back from the brink of extinction. Butch Otter is a vicious little man, stating that he hopes to kill the first wolf himself. I don’t have high hopes for any significant animal welfare legislation to be passed in these states…as it is, their animal cruelty laws are quite weak. These are pro-hunting states and states with a strong hunting culture tend to have little sensitivity towards animals in general. Hence the lack of dog fighting laws up until now. Otter couldn’t care less about animals himself, he is only jumping on the bandwagon for political reasons.

  7. Mary says:

    Ummm…. Brad, I don’t know Butch Otter from John Deere. But I can tell you that the hunters I know — and I include myself in this statement — are among the nation’s strongest conservationists. I don’t know any hunters who want a species hunted to extinction. We see what has happened with the deer populations as the direct results of loss of natural predation and loss of habitat. Hunting predators to extinction is bad for the prey species and for the environment.

    I believe you’re confusing hunters with ranchers who think that eliminating large predators will protect their herds.

    And blaming hunters for the lack of dog fighting legislation sounds like something Wayne Pacelle would say.

  8. karen says:


    You might be surprised to know that dog fighting is alive and well in CO. And as law enforcement continures to crack down on it here what makes you think they won’t move over the state line to continue.

    Learn the differance in “wipe out” and control of the population. No area can maintain an unlimited amount of wild anything.

    Animal Welfare is a wonderful thing… following the AR retoric is not benefical to ANY animal. Pets includ

  9. nora says:

    The statement “Dog fighting is not a problem here” is silly. It is a problem everywhere it exists and the reason YOU don’t think it is a problem is because it is hidden. It is an underground activity and the mainstream is not aware of where it is happening until someone has the kuhuna’s to do something about it. In other words, get some balls Wyoming. Stand up and fight the sadistic and bad element that is fighting dogs in your area. IT IS REAL. Sometimes, for example New Orleans, some of the law enforcement officers are helping to cover for the culprits because they are also involved and pro dog fighting.

  10. Brad H. says:

    Karen…learn the facts. You are quite ignorant. The wolves are in very small numbers as it is, and yes, Idaho and Wyoming wish to wipe them out. Leaving less than a couple hundred wolves in these states places these animals on the brink of extinction. And you are very arrogant to think that man can control wild populations and keep nature in balance this way. Man has never been successful in this, as there are too many other variables involved. When humans try to control wildlife by “culling”, they only create even more problems.

  11. Brad H. says:

    By the way…Mary…I think hunters are despicable cowards. Killing a living being for pleasure is pathological. Go see a shrink before your bloodlust spreads to humans. Real sporting…blowing away a defenseless deer with a rifle. Pathetic.

  12. Mary says:

    Brad, I think hypocrites are despicable scum. I won’t call you ignorant. That’s just rude. I will call you deluded, though. We must kill in order to eat. What you eat, every day, came from a living organism. Even the carrot and lettuce on your salad plate was once alive. Or do you eat only rocks?

    Real brave … letting the slaughterhouses do your dirty work for you. The only difference between your average grocery store omnivore and a hunter is who does the killing and how its done. Who’s the coward? The guy who hunts and processes his own food, or the guy who buys the neatly packaged dead cow parts at Kroger?

    How much of a chance do you think defenseless chickens, hogs, and cows have against the guys who run the farms, feed lots, and slaughterhouses? Have you ever seen a confinement poultry or hog farm? The defenseless deer in the woods has a better chance at survival than the defenseless cow in a stockyard.

    Now, tell me again you’re not a HSUS or PETA troll. And explain what hunting has to do with dog fighting legislation.

  13. EmilyS says:

    Folks: dogfighters aren’t some kind of mastermind OsamaBinLaden types. I don’t dispute that dogfighting exists. But if it were the nationwide “epidemic” HSUS basis its budget on, we would see a lot more arrests. The b.s. about “oh they’re so secretive we can’t ever find them” is just that. THEY ARE NOT GENIUSES.

    The TRUTH is that very little organized formal dogfighting (as in the old days) exists. We get these big dramatic busts of “big names” every couple of years, and each time, the culprit is going to give up all the names and everyone’s going to get arrested, and dogfighting will end.

    Guess what? We have heard of NO dramatic arrests after the Bob Stevens bust, after the Floyd Boudreaux bust, after the Sporting Dog Journal editor bust.

    Most dogfighting is impromptu, guy on the corner showing off, on a level with most other acts of animal cruelty. And it should be treated as such. People who are cruel to animals should be arrested, prosecuted and penalized according to the law.

    It is NOT worse than many of the other acts of cruelty we read about and the notion that dogfighters are going to flock to Idaho and Wyoming because it’s not a felony there is just … stupid and baseless.

    I still contend that the hsyteria over this barbaric activity is ginned up by HSUS and PETA as both a fundraising mechanism and as a way to demonize a particular type of dog. It is part of their agenda to have the State authorize them and groups like them to dictate to pet owners how they may treat their animals and to eliminate purebred dogs

    And by the way, to those who “know” that dogfighting exists: many assertions that a pit bull owner is fighting his dog are based on having perfectly legal and legitimate pieces of training/exercise equipment like springpoles and treadmills. Or god forbid, books and magazines about dogfighting.

    I happen to be a middle age white librarian with 3 pit bulls.. and *I* have those things.

    Some PETA/HSUS wacko might accuse me of being a dogfighter.

  14. nora says:

    Emily. NO ONE SAID THE DOG FIGHTERS ARE GENIUS. And as far as the real concern(for the dogs) for Dog Fighting being penned by you as HYSTERIA? It is only the concern for the poor dogs that I am speaking about. Why in the world would you think that ANYONE would think you are a dog fighter? GET OVER YOURSELF. Michael Vick and his bunch with the thousands of dollars exchanging hands were not fighting on the street corners!!!!!!!!

  15. Jeanie says:

    I am glad people are contacting their representatives about this issue and others that are important to them. When politicians hear from a lot of their constituents about a certain issue, they do listen, as evidenced here. I used to be a legislative Aide at the Capitol of California and my job for two years was to respond to constituent mail. The senator would include these letters in the information he took to committee and to the Floor. It greatly influenced how he voted.

  16. E. Hamilton says:

    There were only a few dogs “officially” killed by dog fighting and most of those dogs were “officially ” bad breeds of dogs.

    I think this Vick investigation was made public NOW to DISTRACT people from the poison pet food and to DEMONIZE a breed of dog. Other breeds bite and kill and are used in dog fighting, they just don’t mention it.

    And it worked.

    There is not a word of truth in the authorities.

  17. floyd says:

    I plan on acquiring more pitbulls,eli blood, and live in WY u people need to learn how to raise an animal without mistreating them

  18. mack says:

    He and Reno go undercover and manage to steal a piece of evidence that could lock away the Neo-Nazi leaders. They are discovered and Jake orders Reno to flee with the evidence. Jake is attacked by a group of radicals, but, using his fighting skills, manages to subdue several of them.


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