Sunday, February 15, 2009

the high cost of being a victim

Here we go again. A scumbag breeder/dog fighter in Wilkes County, North Carolina is busted, convicted and, predictably, his dogs shoulder the blame. Bad, evil dogs to be born into this operation. Authorities - ignoring Best Friend's offer to organize evaluations and a rescue - are getting ready to blue juice, bag and fill their local landfill with 127 bodies, including several litters of puppies. Because surely the rescues of the Vick dogs, the Patrick dogs, the Missouri dogs and even the Oklahoma dogs were a fluke.
"Goodwin (dog fighting 'expert' HSUS) said that the dogs have been bred for fighting and it would very difficult and expensive to re-train the dogs, even the puppies, so that they could be adopted.
Expensive ... to save lives? Since when do we decide what rescues should spend on a dog? Sorry, TugTug. That nice dog bed you tore up is clearly a waste of funds. And the vet costs to clear up your infected ear? Unforgivable. (Current cost to rescue TugTug from the abuser who kept him chained: not including the airfare spent to select him: Vet costs: $118, dogbed, crate, chewies and treats: donated, food and supplemental vitamins: $60).

From the website of the Wilkes County Landfill...
It costs 50 cents to dump a bag of trash at the landfill. However, dumping by the bag is free if a bag of recyclable goods are brought for every bag of trash.

In all fairness to Goodwin, it clearly IS much cheaper to landfill a litter of pups from a bust case (assuming a litter will fill one bag) than to ask Best Friends to shoulder the cost of the plane tickets needed to evaluate and transport these same dogs to breed experienced organizations...Nevermind the dog beds and vet costs that would mount up post-rescue. And even cheaper if authorities bring in a bag of recyclable goods along with every dead dog.
"Goodwin said that the dogs have been bred for fighting and it would very difficult and expensive to re-train the dogs, even the puppies, so that they could be adopted.

Banging my head on brick wall. Re-train them to do what exactly? to the fridge and grab us a beer?

Dear John, How many times do we have to say this? Rescuers don't re-train dogs from any situation, shelter or otherwise. After cherry picking the best dogs for our programs, we simply give them what they didn't have before they came to us: clear direction, basic obedience, opportunities to play with well matched play buddies. In short, we help them to become whole dogs again. A hand-picked dog from a fight bust is no different than a chained, backyard dog that's been surrendered to the shelter by a family in East Oakland - although bust dogs tend to have better genetics and we prefer their temperaments over the mixed breed pit bulls that come in from so many shelters.

I am pained by the lack of knowledge a "dog fighting expert" has for the breed. Shouldn't someone with this lofty title support the orgs that embrace these dogs? Unfortunately, people that believe bust dogs are devil's spawn - "bred for fighting" - spend so much time reading gamedog message boards that they've become as invested in dog fighting mythology as the guys who write this macho crap. Boys with low self esteem and big pick-up trucks encourage their dogs to spark up and act dog aggressive for a reason. Yuppy rescuers in densely populated urban areas with mortgages and multi-pets have no use for badly behaved dogs. Choose your reality, preferably the one that saves the lives of vicitimized pets.

From the news article: County officials have said that the dogs would be euthanized. Officials did not return a phone message yesterday. "I think there's a county ordinance that requires it," Goodwin said. "It's not a matter of would, could or should. It's the law."

WRONG. Article 1A of Chapter 67 of North Carolina's General Statutes allows for the adoption of dogs from fighting pasts provided "the animal shelter shall notify any persons adopting the dog of the liability provisions "

So now what? If Goodwin and others have their way, Best Friends' offer will be ignored and the dogs will be killed and land filled. Below: one of the many puppies born since the bust. To ask for a different outcome, write, write, write...

Wilkes County Board of Commissioners
110 North Street
Wilksboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-651-7346
Fax: 336) 651-7568

Wilkes County Attorney Tony Triplett
Vannoy, Colvard, Triplett & Vannoy
922 C Street
P.O. Box 1388
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Phone: 336-667-7201
Fax: 336-838-7250

District Attorney Tom Horner
500 Courthouse Drive Suite 2022
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-667-6361 or 667-2994
Fax: 336 667-7999


Boris said...

Donna & those with hope,

Looks like you have a uphill battle:

Wilkesboro Motto: "Where the Mountains Begin."

Most will find this, but for reading:

Try this email too:
Mike Inscore - Mayor
Email :

maybe the images needs to get involved?
Telephone numbers on these sites

Boris' OEL

Anonymous said...

Yes - Another unfortunate example of humans' lack of wisdom...

As I read the post I was trembling with anger - The juxtaposition of the innane actions of the people of Wilkes County next to the snoozing Vick Dog rescue at my side. What the hell is wrong with this picture????

So I called Mr. Triplett. I was directed to his voicemail, and left a messge with my (such as it is) plea for him to make the right decision. I'm still shaking, but at least another small effort has been made against this behemoth of ignorance.

Please, please. Call. Write. Anything. But be positive. As much as I wanted to kick and scream and threaten to key his Lexus, that will never work. But if we continue with a message of courage and conviction about this remarkable breed, we will, one day, be heard.

We will.

Kathleen and Jhumpa

Caveat said...

"Unfortunately, folks that believe bust dogs are devil's spawn - "bred for fighting" - spend so much time reading gamedog message boards that they become as invested in dog fighting mythology as the guys who write this macho crap"

Thanks for this, Donna. You wouldn't believe the emails I get about dogs being 'bred' to fight and how you can't trust a 'pit bull' no matter how nice he seems blah blah blah.

Goodwin is not an expert on anything except furthering the agenda. It's funny that news stories never mention his - ahem - past.

As my friend likes to say "If we can breed dogs to exhibit complex behavioural patterns, then why aren't we breeding them to heel?"

Good question.

Anonymous said...

Donna, I want to help! I want to write! But I find myself at a loss for the right words. I have a mind set that I'm not a great writer and I want to sound educated about the situation. Any chance you have something I could use as a jump off and edit toward my own thoughts?

Anonymous said...

This just breaks my heart. I will begin my writing, emailing & phoning today.

My George, was born to a fighting pit bull mother. I have had him since he was 6 weeks of age and there is no aggression or wanting to fight in him.

He has attended Doggie Day Care daily (while I work) for 2 years now and there have been no issues with him in regard to people or other dogs.

Susie in Texas

Walter said...

I will definitely write, and I hope it does something.
Amongst all the other millions of questions that could be brought, the big one for me is: why is Goodwin an expert? To me, it sounds like he hasn't spent muh time around rescued fighting dogs, or he'd know how successful rehabilitation can be. And why is he the only expert? You'd think when it involves hundreds of lives, you'd ask around a bit, maybe get a different point of view.

Thoughts said...

To everyone at BADRAP,

We truly love your blog and have been following you for months now. you do amazing work and help so many animals (and people for that matter).

We left you something over at our blog and hope you will accept it.


jaime smith, and the furkids at

Page against the machine said...

Writing now!

Anonymous said...

Someone with John Goodwin's attitude towards these dogs should not even be working with any association with the word "Humane" in it, much less promote himself as a dog fighting expert. There is nothing HUMANE about killing innocent dogs just for existing, most especially puppies. This is just sick, sick, SICK and WRONG on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

What has always bothered me about the "cost" argument is none of these organizations bring that up with puppy mill busts. All those cute, fuzzy small dogs are going to cost people a lot of money - medical issues abound as do behavioral ones. HSUS participates a lot in puppy mill busts and advocates their adoption, not murder.

And let's call a spade a spade - killing perfectly healthy, people social, behaviorally sound dogs is not euthanasia, that is NOT a "good death", that is just convenience killing. Unacceptable.

I'll arrange my correspondence in a politer manner, though. :)

Anonymous said...

I have written some of these people as I sit here on my lunch hour. I am going to try to get away to make some phone calls later when I can get away from my desk for relative privacy.

This makes me sick, as a tax-paying citizen of NC. I do not live in this county, but I am trying to speak up anyway.

I knew that this case was going to come to this, but was hoping for the best. I hope that this gets some publicity. I just read an article in the News & Observer ( that already set me off today, with an erroneous blanket statement made about pitbulls by a woman who used to head the Animal Protection Society of Orange County and is still active in several animal-centered causes.

Pit bulls and pit-bull mixes are common in animal shelters, and face long odds for adoption thanks to a reputation for aggression that made headlines when former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges.

Sanford is among those who think this fear is warranted, since pit bulls have largely been bred to be aggressive, just as other types of dogs are to shepherd animals or seek out scents.

There are so many pitbull rescues here in the state, but then we have people like this, who have the means to change people's minds, and put out info like this. It's so frustrating!

Going back to emailing these people,


Home2K9 Pack Leader said...

That puppy looks so dangerous though...


Ugh, what a bunch of numbnuts. I can't believe the ignorance!

Writing. Feverishly. Now.

Anonymous said...

"Judge orders pit bulls seized in Wilkes to euthanized"

Anonymous said...

i will send emails and faxes and even if it doesnt change their minds we must always speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. these stories break my heart in two though and the humane society of the us really needs to wise up on these cases. they will be getting letters from me as well in the near future.

Donna said...

Hi Jaime

Thanks for thinking of our blog for your very cool award. I'm afraid that we're super short on time right now so would not be able to give distribute it as it deserves.

I know you'll find some fantastic recipients that deserve to be recognized. Thank you for again for this kind honor!

Anonymous said...

Where is the "Humane" in the HSUS when they won't even accept the offers of help and evaluation from qualified rescuers like Badrap and Best Friends? I agree, HSUS is rally showing their ignorance and callousness this time, acting more like Peta, I'd say!! Perpetuating the idea that disposal is better than rehabilitation really is disgusting. Especially the comment about the dump.
I am outraged.

Anonymous said...

I see "HUMANE" yet there is NO "HUMANE" in what just went on. My stomach turns as I read this--It's unbelievable and so heart breaking to even imagine such act....

My stomach turns as I sit at my computer at work--people ask, "are you okay" I respond NO, check this out.. what happens next, they are speechless... ugh!