Friday, February 22, 2008

Have we learned anything yet?

Six people were arrested this week in AZ on misdemeanor cruelty charges for running a breeding operation that looks very much like a large scale puppy mill with sorry conditions and way too many pit bulls. While the local media is very excited about a 'dog fight ring,' no dog fighting charges have been filed. Authorities and the HSUS are instead condemning the operation for "breeding fighting dogs." The judge was less than impressed and allowed the defendants to leave without posting bail.

So here are the obvious questions:
What makes a dog a fighting dog?


Why is this term being manipulated to hurt the very animals that raids are designed to help?
He said that even pit bulls in good shape can be proof of dogfighting. ~ KBOLD13News (mis?)quoting Marsh Myers, Humane Society of Southern Arizona


The dogs on the AZ property are people friendly and surprisingly few have battle scars, yet the media is already suggesting that all or most will need to be destroyed. (I guess they didn't get their People Magazine!) The running definition for fighting dog in this case is a dog that's already ruined because someone, somewhere might exploit and abuse him once he's sold. This is in line with PeTA's wish to exterminate the entire pit bull breed to prevent them from being abused.

Of course our own 10 Vick survivors have been called "fighting dogs"- But are they? Is a fighting dog born or made? And who decides?

Stay tuned - This is going to be an interesting case to watch.
"After being confiscated, fighting dogs are typically euthanized due to their highly aggressive nature and unsuitability for adoption." ~ Humane Society of the United States

Vick-dog Uba (left) and his housemate Lulu. Fighting dog(s) ?

fighting dogs
Photograph compliments of Uba's devoted foster mom, Letti


HubbTruck said...

PLEASE...hopefully, you can intercede to at least save the babies, if not all of the innocents.

Anonymous said...

Cynical me thinks, hmmmm, another fundraising scheme for slick Wayne Pacelle? Has anyone written to him and said, 'now that the story about the Vick dogs is out, have you changed your mind about mass-killings of dogs found on fighting properties?' Seriously.

And on another lighter note...does Uba do zoomies?


Jenifer said...

Poor doggies!
I hope they are given a chance....
Its just so sad people are not more loving and responsible....

Instead of spending so much money with BSL and having to deal with this sort of sadness, maybe Legislation should be created for spay/nuetering requirements and special liscensing for anyone wanting to breed their pets.....

Shame on those people~

Mac`s Gang said...

[quote]someone, somewhere might exploit them[/quote]


Uba and Lula must be cousins......kissing cousins.
[place bang head icon here]

angela said...

Wow, how awful. How are these "fighting dogs" at all? I have seen people even locally selling pit bulls for $700 - $1000 dollars in the newspaper (to pet owners obviously!) so I don't see how they could jump to the conclusion that these are "fighting" dogs just because they're apbts. There is plenty of money to be made selling puppies as pets - I know, I used to live in Lancaster PA.

I hope these poor innocent dogs can be rescued. And honestly, nobody can say that "fighting dogs" can't be rehabilitated any more without sounding even more foolish than they used to.

Bambi said...

And on another lighter note...does Uba do zoomies?

I have it on good authority that Uba can zoomie with the best of them Dina!


Kirsten said...

Hi, Yes, I wrote to the HSUS's John Goodwin asking him whether they were going to amend their stance in light of the outcome of the Vick case (and sent him a link to the Bad Rap story). He responded with a rigid answer defining game bred or 'fight bred' pit bulls as any dogs bred/associated with major (or any) organized fighting rings, period. He defines them all as dangerous, and a threat to the public positive image of pit bulls due to their inevitable dangerous behavior. Their mission is to stamp out dogfighting (and apparently the dogs, too). My suggestion that THEIR STANCE is a threat to a positive public image for pit bulls didn't go very far. And at that we agreed to disagree, hmmph. Don't get me started on PETA... I can't believe they are essentially exploiting the suffering of pit bulls they never intend to help, on their fundraising posters. Grrr. End rant.

Donna said...

Tim spoke with Goodwin in person at Vick's sentencing. Same question, same response.

At least we know what we're dealing with.

Kirsten said...

Yeah. It's a real shame that someone who works so closely with pit bull related abuse cases (in a relatively respected organization) would take his position.

But Bad Rap and co. are leading by example... :)

Donna said...

Thankfully, the media's still very interested in the V-dogs, so it's the dogs themselves that'll make their case. Tenacious little buggers.

Kirsten said...

heh, true. I feel more optimistic when I look at it that way. I certainly find the V-dogs infinitely more charming than their adversaries. When was the last time you heard of someone using John Goodwin's picture as desk top wallpaper? ;-)

Caveat said...

Thanks for the update on this. Yesterday, people were all 'hang 'em high' but I figured there had to be a catch if H$U$ was involved. Since I'm not a member, I don't know if they've already started a fundraising campaign about the big 'dog-fighting' bust in AZ yet.

pitbullfever said...

Hopefully people will have learned something from the Michael Vick case and treat dogs as individuals. Especially the people down in AZ who are involved in this case. Donna I am planning on making photocopies of the article of the Vick dogs in People to make sure that people who don't know about it do know and that how wondeful it has been for these dogs given a chance - they can thrive!

spotted dog farm said...

The AADR (All-American Dog Registry) is now being portrayed by HSUS/Goodwin as a "front for dogfighters" is a perfectly legitimate registry! I know many fanciers who use it as an alternative to the ADBA and the UKC. It is a smaller registry but certainly no smokescreen for dogfighters.

The news is already reporting that the dogs will likely be euth'd. Also, more than $30,000 must be raised within the week, or else the dogs will be forfeited to the state. I still haven't heard any evidence!!!

This is another case of the HSUS not knowing its ass from a hole in the ground.

Anonymous said...

Following the reasoning of the Arizona media and PETA, I'd like to make some suggestions of things other than pit bulls that MIGHT be considered for extermination: 1) the media - on the grounds that it MIGHT abuse and exploit future news; 2) PETA - on the grounds that the animals they claim to care so much about MIGHT attack them; 3) politicians - on the grounds that they MIGHT enact more ill-conceived, unimaginative, and morally reprehensible BSL (or any other type of legislation.) Wait a minute. All this has already happened. Does that weaken or strengthen my arguemnt? It doesn't matter. How daft and/or naive does one have to be to not realize that even if every Staffy, Amstaff, APBT, Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, pit bull-mix, or any other type of dog that might be considered a "pit bull" by any stretch of the imagination where to be wiped off the face of the Earth there would still be SICK PEOPLE who would abuse and neglect dogs and, yes, ORGANIZE DOGFIGHTS. The breeds that pit bulls descended from, the mastiff-types and terriers, would still be around so it wouldn't be that hard for some enterprising thug breeder to create some new "devil" dog. With the WONDERS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY it could probably be accomplished much more quickly and efficiently than ever before. I guess the only logical thing to do to prevent the dog-related evils that MIGHT happen is to EXTERMINATE ALL DOGS. I don't think so. Dogs can learn new tricks. Why can't people?

Anonymous said...

nah, most of these dogs are dead, or will be soon
"Some may be eligible for adoption, but many will be euthanized."

No one will care enough because the suspects are apparently highvolume breeders ("puppy mill"), even though they ran a legal, licensed kennel.

Pit bull rescuers don't like breeders, especially not high volume breeders, especially not breeders of hard-to-place gamebred dogs who aren't couch potatoes, and especially not when there's evidence of dead-dog-disposal in creepy ways. And all that money and guns... Unlike Vick, these guys aren't rich celebrities who will garner press attention and outrage, and sympathy for the dogs.

"Of course" anyone who breeds lots of gamebred dogs, who has published extensively glorifying dogfighting, has a past history of admitted dogfighting, can only be breeding to sell to dog fighters, even if he's not fighting them himselves. Making that assumption.. it's the H$U$ way!

Arizona isn't Louisiana, but there's no more hope for the majority of these dogs than there were for Boudreaux's dogs, killed as "contraband" though there has still been no conviction of the accused people. The pit bull boards (other than the "gamedog boards) are all about "I don't want to give money to these guys, they might be dogfighters; I would help the dogs but not them". But raising the $13k "ransom"? I don't see it.

HSUS will get to crow, and raise money on the backs of more "unstoppably aggressive" dogs (though the video shows quite the opposite, duh.). As others have said, going after alleged "dogfighters" is just a side door to going after "breeders' to further the "no more pets" AR agenda.

Is this a great country, or what?

Donna said...

Clearly you're having a bad morning, anonymous, and I can't say that I blame you. These bloodlines are being targeted - we all know it. But your accusatory tone isn't going to help anyone, namely the dogs.

You need to read on in this blog for the full story of what's going on with dogs from these cases - in Missouri for example. No celebrity, no money - and lots of energy to help the dogs. Because it's all about the dogs, right?

By the way - if game dog people were willing to adopt higher drive dogs from rescuers, you better believe we would fill our programs with them - including and especially dogs seized from these sorry situations. As it stands, our drivey darlings sit and sit and sit without a nibble of interest from the legitimate game dog community.

Supply and demand, my friend.

Anonymous said...

At this moment, I cannot put into words how bad I feel for these poor innocent creatures. doG bless them all.

Cornelia & Bullies Misty & Buddy
Lodi, CA

Dan said...

Do you really think Pat Patrick wasn't involved in the dogfighting world? Have you ever studied the history of the breed? Ever heard of his dog Bolio that he stole from Indian Sonny? Ever heard of the dog Tombstone? Frank Rocca's book "Fighting for Life" claimed Pat Patrick had more ROM dogs than anyone else. ROM is Register of Merit, a title given to dogs that produce a lot of offspring who go on to become fighting champions.

It is sad that one of the major pit bull rescue groups is blind as to who are the major figures in the dogfighting world, and who is not.

Donna said...

Dan - We're intimately aware of our chosen breed's history. But whether or not Patrick was/is involved in fighting is irrelevant to our focus - That is, the future of dogs from similar situations. Remember, we're here for the dogs.

Honestly, the Patrick lines are in homes all over America living successfully as family pets..and there is no doubt any number have been exploited in irresponsible homes as well.

What we object to is the broad stroke generalizations that condemn any and all of the dogs (to death) as "fighting dogs" based solely on their parentage.

What do YOU think. Are fighting dogs born or made? And if you believe they're born (based on your post, I'm guessing you do) - What would you suggest be done with all the dogs from old world lines that are thriving in responsible homes? What about the old world dogs that are showing up in shelters? What about the Vick dogs? ...Uba, Hector. Where do you draw your line?

Busting dog fighters is the right thing to do (assuming real evidence exists). Condemning the dogs however for their humans' sins is obsolete and downright immoral.

Dan said...

I'd be happy to answer your questions just as soon as you address my point, that being that your claim that Pat Patrick is not involved in the dogfighting world is absurd.

Why did you dodge that issue? You say it's irrelevant, but it was a major claim in your blog.

I really respected your organization, until today.

Donna said...

Your words, not ours. I'm quite sure Patrick is/was involved, Dan. As was Floyd at one point. As were the Colbys at one point.

That doesn't change the fact that the dogs are being victimized twice. Once by the fighters and again by an out-dated belief system that would prefer to see the dogs condemned. Two wrongs will never make a right.

If you don't see our point, then you may be better off supporting Peta and their "kill them to save them" philosophy.

Kirsten said...

This is turning into quite the heated little thread... I just have to butt in here and say to me the focus of Bad Rap is quite simple and effective: to remove the stigma associated with fight dogs and abused pit bulls... to quite simply give them a second chance at good homes and good lives. At present too many of these dogs are either victims of abuse, or victims of extreme politics. Pit bulls seem to symbolize a lot of things to a lot of people. Really, they are just dogs, with the same right to a happy care-free doggy existence as any other dog! I support many animal welfare groups, and BR strike me as good people (many of them volunteers) doing good things for the dogs in their care, sans political agendas. Dogfighters can be tried in court, not in blogs. And if you (Dan?) are looking to swap extreme stances, I have to echo Donna here, PETA is more your speed.

Marcia said...

I am surprised that Bad Rap doesn't realize that dogs off a yard like Patrick's are going to be pretty dog aggressive. But your wording about "The running definition for fighting dog in this case is a dog that's already ruined" indicates that you think a game dog only develops dog aggression because of training. To the contrary, dogfighters don't "train" dogs to fight. They put them through an exercise regiment called a keep, but they don't "train" them to make them mean or dog aggressive. The impulse and desire to fight is bred into them. Shouldn't the most well known pit bull rescue group know this?

Donna said...

>The impulse and desire to fight is bred into them.

Are you 100% sure about that? If that were the case, then dogmen would only need one litter a year, and every pup would be a grand champion.

Marcia, BR has done intake on numerous fight bust cases with gamebred registry over the years. As with any dog, and with all working breeds, the key to success is selecting for manageable, people-soft temperament and using good old fashion common sense.

Greyhound rescues? Same thing. (Rescued racers? for sure) Malamute rescues? Good lord - same thing. GSDs? - Number one problem GSD rescuers face is dog aggression. Don't get me started on ACD Rescue work. Or, most of the terriers. (I'd love to spy on Airedale Rescue one of these days.)

Our credo:

This approach works for all breeds, by the way (especially my husky-mix, who is an asshole with dogs when he's wound up)

Pit bulls. Are. Just. Terriers.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware that goodwin stated to a judge that his knowledge of dog fighting was taken from books and the net?

He has never graduated high school

He has no formal education or training outside of that.

Why does anyone even listen to this man.