The Innocent Victims Of Dogfighting

Pit bull

With the nation’s focus on Michael Vick and his alleged involvement in dogfighting, the victims of this horrible crime — the dogs, the pit bulls — are also getting some much needed attention for their cause and well-being.

Pit bulls have received an undeserved bad reputation. To the media outlets, pit bulls make headlines. Whenever a pit bull bites a human being, it makes the local evening news. It’s rare to hear that a golden retriever bit someone even though it does happen. Many people view pit bulls as the “tough and bad boys” of the dog breed world because of misconceptions and what they may see on television and movies.

Pit bulls have not always had to deal with the misconceived notion that they are tough and aggressive dogs.

The closest AKC registered relative to the pit bull is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. In past generations, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was such a loyal family dog, that it was nicknamed “The Nanny Dog.” In the past, when people thought of pit bulls, they thought of Petey from Little Rascals or the Buster Brown shoe dog. Pit bulls were even used as patriotic poster dogs for World War II.

From Steve Dale’s Pet World:

Dogs aren’t the only victims. Primary and middle-school aged kids are commonly invited to watch and even partake in dog fighting activities. It’s “sold” as a “sport,” no different than watching a football game. Of course, it is very different. Gangbangers actually realize that watching the horrific events of a dogfight desensitizes kids to violence. Many polls have confirmed that an astounding number of kids, particularly inner city kids, have witnessed a dogfight. We also know that the same kids who commit violence to animals are then more likely to act similarly to people as adults. What’s more, police who bust up dogfight indicate that in each and every instance other crimes are going on simultaneously – from gambling and drug sales to murder. So, the kids are exposed to those other criminal activities as well as the gruesome dogfight.

There are countless neighborhoods in America where the only exposure children or often anyone who lives there has to dogs are either those who partake in fights; or big and sometimes dangerous dogs used as a sort of bizarre macho accessory. As a result, people in certain neighborhood are afraid of dogs.

I can’t imagine a generation of children growing up without a wet dog kiss.

Bottom line: The real victim of dogfighting is society.

12 Responses to “The Innocent Victims Of Dogfighting”

  1. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    Anyone want to guess what breed the dog is that has the most working titles ever held by one dog?

    Yep. A Pit Bull. His name was Bandog Dread and he was owned by Diane Jessup, a world-famous expert on the breed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandog_Dread

  2. catmom5 says:

    Again, this shows that it’s the people not the breed that are BAD! Your story simply reinforces that we must educate the children to stop another generation of people who will continue this awful practice of torturing and killing animals for “entertainment”, “reputation” or whatever other excuse animal fighters use. How pathetic that they need to use animals to build up their own “worth”. Will we ever learn?

  3. nora says:

    See my commentary on the late great “Jocko” from Sunday’s story on the American Stratfordshire Terrier puppies that were rescued from a life of fighting and now up for adoption. These dogs can be once in a lifetime champions with a huge heart beating with love.

  4. Cathy says:

    I am no expert when it comes to dogs but would like to know why a 6 month old pit bull would kill a 6 yr. old boy.

    http://www.stargazette.com/app.....00331/1001

  5. Cathy says:

    I’m no dog expert, so I would like to know if anyone knows why a 6 month old pit bull puppy would attack & kill a 6 yr old boy.

    http://www.stargazette.com/app.....00331/1001

    Boy likely killed by pit bull
    6-year-old found unconscious by father after feeding dog.
    July 30, 2007
    Post Comment
    By Jeff Murray
    jmurray@stargazette.com
    Star-Gazette

    Advertisement

    BATH — A 6-year-old boy who died Sunday morning in the town of Bath was likely killed by a pit bull he was feeding, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department said.

    Sabin W. Jones-Abbott was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath, according to a news release from the department.

    He was transported to the hospital after sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to a report of an unresponsive child at a residence on East William Street Extension.

    Investigators discovered that the child had been feeding a 6-month-old pit bull, and that about 15 minutes later, the boy’s father found him unconscious.

    Wounds suffered by Sabin indicated he had been attacked by the dog just before being found by his father, according to the news release.

    The name of Sabin’s father was not released, nor was there information about any other family members. Sheriff’s investigators could not be reached for comment Sunday.

    The investigation is continuing under the direction of the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office, the news release said.

    District Attorney John Tunney is out of town but has been informed of the incident, according to Assistant District Attorney Brooks Baker.

    Tunney will return to the office Tuesday and will be presented with all the findings in the case at that point, Baker said.

    It’s too early to speculate what, if any, charges might evolve from the investigation, said Michael McCartney, another assistant district attorney.

    “Normally the agency collects the information and then forwards it to our office. The sheriff would interview witnesses. Our office makes the final determination,” McCartney said. “That determination can’t be made until all the information is collected. To a certain extent, it will depend on a thorough review of whatever is turned over by the sheriff’s department.”

  6. Cathy says:

    I’m no expert on dogs, so I would like to know what people think about this 6 month old pit bull puppy attacking & killing a 6 yr old boy.

    http://www.stargazette.com/app.....00331/1001

    Boy likely killed by pit bull
    6-year-old found unconscious by father after feeding dog.
    July 30, 2007
    Post Comment
    By Jeff Murray
    jmurray@stargazette.com
    Star-Gazette

    BATH — A 6-year-old boy who died Sunday morning in the town of Bath was likely killed by a pit bull he was feeding, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department said.

    Sabin W. Jones-Abbott was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath, according to a news release from the department.

    He was transported to the hospital after sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to a report of an unresponsive child at a residence on East William Street Extension.

    Investigators discovered that the child had been feeding a 6-month-old pit bull, and that about 15 minutes later, the boy’s father found him unconscious.

    Wounds suffered by Sabin indicated he had been attacked by the dog just before being found by his father, according to the news release.

    The name of Sabin’s father was not released, nor was there information about any other family members. Sheriff’s investigators could not be reached for comment Sunday.

    The investigation is continuing under the direction of the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office, the news release said.

    District Attorney John Tunney is out of town but has been informed of the incident, according to Assistant District Attorney Brooks Baker.

    Tunney will return to the office Tuesday and will be presented with all the findings in the case at that point, Baker said.

    It’s too early to speculate what, if any, charges might evolve from the investigation, said Michael McCartney, another assistant district attorney.

    “Normally the agency collects the information and then forwards it to our office. The sheriff would interview witnesses. Our office makes the final determination,” McCartney said. “That determination can’t be made until all the information is collected. To a certain extent, it will depend on a thorough review of whatever is turned over by the sheriff’s department.”

    The dog, believed to be a family pet, was removed from the scene and secured while the investigation is carried out, the news release said.

    Most people automatically think of pit bulls as vicious dogs, but that isn’t necessarily the case, said Elaine Walker, executive director of the Chemung County Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Big Flats.

    “They really get a bad rap. They can be wonderful pets as long as they are socialized and trained appropriately,” Walker said. “Many times people that are attracted to the pit bull breed are those who are into dog fighting and things like that, so they are not necessarily trained and socialized the way they should be.

    “The thing I want to stress is it could be a Doberman, a Rottweiler, a mastiff, it could be golden retriever,” she said. “It’s a horrible, horrible thing when (an attack) happens.”

    Sabin’s body was transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester for an autopsy.

    The sheriff’s department also was assisted by Bath Ambulance, Advanced Life Support, a Steuben County dog control officer and county coroner Steven Copp.

  7. mittens says:

    the fact remains that when generations of a breed are specifically bred and kept alive to bred for viciousness - a quality enforced and prized in the dogs by mentally ill humans- there are going to be problems that are just not public relations/ image issues. the shelters are flooded with waves of pit bulls irreseponsible humans have never trained properly or who have been systematically rendered( through abuse) unfit to be ‘ petey’ or a loving, sweet family pet. the fact remains that for every kitten loving, kid kissing pit bull out there there is also a ‘ problem’ pit bull or akita, improperly trained or abused and negelcted to the point of emotional damage. all this the fault of humans. however, they wouldn’t encourage the fighting instinct in certain breeds if the instinct (and vice like jaw) was not part of the animal’s genetic, socially ‘ buried’ primal abilities.

    border collies are not generally mentioned when bringing up problem dogs- and they can be a very big problem as concerns biting. this is because of breeding and genetics. the circling and herding behavior they exhibit without being trained to do so- so useful in dealing with sheep-is the natural instinct of the wolf before it KILLS prey. nipping. biting and hard to manage aggression are thus very big border collie problems few people are aware of when they take that cute ( and are they ever cute puppies) ball of fluff home. ideally, the collie stops short of the kill but natural inclinations being what they are , the animal’s drive is to go in and finish it off. the dog cannot help it and no one trained him to herd and bite people. it is an instict that is difficult to erase in them thus making them for all their smarts and loveable qualities often very bad pets to have with small children. again, few people know this- and they should because the dog is always the one to suffer should anything go wrong.it would be unwise and reprehensible to drop off a border collie pup on a house with small children , or really any house, and not inform the adults of the issues this breed CAN have because that would be ‘ racist’( can we stop using that term for dog breeds- it’s really grotesque and offensive to do so. they are dogs not humans and racism againtst humans is nothing at all like aversion to certain dog breeds. the idea is preposterous.)

    it brings up the question-what are pet dogs ‘ for’? they were afterall once wild animals- wolves. the dangerous antisocial behaviors that crop up in canines- certainly often encouraged by humans- are remnants of natural feral behaviors- prized in work dogs and guard dogs and for catching badgers in holes but problematic when they show up in family pets. while i feel certainly pit bulls have gotten a bad rap , i don’t think we can ignore that when certain breeds of dog have been raised and specifically bred by humans to bring forth certain qualities and those qualities are enforced by human abuse and neglect- there is a bred specific problem going on that needs to be addressed not ignored or coated over with photo ops of slobering dogs licking babies. where i lived, no one in their right mind would approach someone with a pit bull because 9 times out of 10 the dog was having it’s aggression honed to a t. kids used to run screaming from me when i walked a boston terrier ( ” it’s a pit bull!!!”) because in their lives any dog around was being raised as a sociopathic wolf and income generator not as a pet. just because you are lucky enough to live in an environment where dogs are loving members of your family do not assume others have had the luxury. sad as it may be and wrong as it may be the problem is real- a specific breed being exploited by humans and children being raised to view violence and pain and cruelty as entertainment. we know what pit bulls can be-in exposing dog fighting we should be actively showing what they can but shouldn’t be . in exposing what can be done to pit bulls we should be emphasizing what is wrong with humans, not dogs.

    and everyone should always excersize caution when approaching an unknown dog of any breed. poodles can give a nasty nip too. people have no respect for animals and no inkling that they too have a personal space. if people had more respect for animals and each other , innocent animals wouldn’t be in this horrible position of being demonized wherein it’s the human’s who are the real devils.

  8. Jill: says:

    This article is horribly sad (see below), there are still areas like Loudon County, VA where they euthenize pitbulls, even new born puppies, just because of the breed.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01009.html

  9. Rosanna says:

    I was reading through the comments and I would just like to say People who may believe that a pitbull is a vicious and anger filled creature, probably have never had contact with one. I own 2 and i invite whoever to come by and meet them, the only time you see their teeth is when they’re slobbering on your leg. the only time they bark is when you don’t throw the ball quick enough. They are dogs “man’s best friend” they look macho and menacing but really so do rotts, mastiffs, bulldogs… and i have never heard any one speak about those breeds like they do the pitbull. My pitbulls were breed for temperment, they are awesome family dogs, and coming from someone who lives in a household with a 7 year old boy, i’ll have you know that what ever happened to that 6 year old boy was absolutely horrible, but in all actuallity, and in all fairness, that was a bad dog, but that was also a bad owner, and a bad father! i would never let my 7 year old brother feed my dogs or any dogs with out adult supervision. NO CHILD SHOULD EVER BE LEFT ALONE WITH A DOG! I do not care if it is a chihuahua or a great dane or a pitbull! But to those who really believe that all pitbulls are bad and vicious i simply say “It’s your loss, to never know a friendship more dedicated, loyal and loving than that of a pitbull!”

    I’ve learned that pitbulls, i think, can sense that the world looks at them with a askewed vision, and it makes them love you more when you look at them for what they really are, a dog from the wrong side of the tracks who just needs a family that loves them.

  10. furmom says:

    I haven’t known pit bulls until the last few years, but I guessed that possibly some of the hype had to be based on misconceptions or very bad handling by humans. Having got to know a couple since, I see why people say they are such loving, people friendly dogs. i have seen no evidence of dog aggression at all in them. A sample of two isn’t much, but I am certain now that some people must be doing strange things or maybe just neglecting some of these dogs to get bad results from them. All dogs come from hunting backgrounds, people think terriers are cute, most of them are far more aggressive and badly than some of the supposedly aggressive breeds. I’m sure terrier lovers would also say, it has to be the upbringing. I am pretty sure you can find good and bad examples of temperament in most any breed either through bad breeding or bad raising.

  11. HighNote says:

    I do not know why the pit bull is always the one that people talk about being mean. I have heard of collies and german shepards and other breeds that have attacked people and children too.
    When a dog is only six months old they are still in training and anyone that knows about young dogs knows that when you are to feed them it is possible that they will bite.
    We had a collie about six months old and my daugher went to feed him and piece of the food landed on the floor, she picked it up and he tried to bite her hand. Of course he never tried again. I saw to that. But young dogs sometimes do that when a child gets close to their food. It is a normal thing for them to do till they are trained not to do this.
    After I got on to my collie for snapping at my daughter he would never again eat in front of me or any of us. He waited for us to leave and then he would eat. This man really should not have had his six year old feeding the dog till he was sure the dog was trained better.
    I will say this though. I find it strange why this pit bull would kill! Snapping at someone to warn them to stay away from their food is one thing, but to kill! This was only a six month old dog. Why would he kill at such a young age? Even if he had no training at all. Most animals will not kill the person feeding them. I think this is one reason why the pit bull is talked about so often. Too many times we here about them killing someone for no reason at all.
    WE had two pit bulls get out of their fence and chase a guy and he got up on top of his car and they were still trying to get to him. Personally they frighten me but so do german shepards and some other breeds. No dog can be totally trusted really. yes when they are our own pets we trust them and love them, but we never know what they may do to a stranger if they get off our property. Even with training. They are animals and all animals can be unpredictable, even the sweetest and the littliest ones can bite.
    I have loved animals all my life and have been bit by small ones and large ones and the breed had nothing to do with it. Animals bite for protection, being frightened, or territory.
    My grandfather always told me that if a dog looks you scare in the eyes that you should use care with him. He is a more aggressive animal. I am talking about the long look. I always took his advice

  12. karen says:

    mittens,

    You obviously don’t know Border Collies or any other herding breed. Will they Grip an ankle or coat sleeve in order to move their people? Possibly. This has nothing to do with circling prey to kill. Are they smarter than many humans? Obviously.


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