By Gary Bogue
Thursday, February 15th, 2007 at 7:42 am in Blood sports.
Dog fighting and cockfighting are just plain brutal. So are the people who are involved in these “blood sports.”
Back in the early 1980s I got a campaign going in my daily newspaper column to alert readers to the fact that there was a lot of dog fighting going on locally in my newspaper’s circulation area. I was able to contact two local dog fighters who agreed to let me interview them about their “sport.” They described their activities in graphic terms and I published their comments in my column. Then the fun began.
Several days after my first anti-dog fighting column appeared, I received a telephone call at the Times. It was from a male who refused to give me his name. “All you need to know,” he muttered, “is that I know what your car looks like and your license plate number and where you park it in the Times parking lot … and I want you to think about that every time you get in your car and start to turn on the key. Maybe you should stop writing about dog fighting. Get my message?”
He accurately described my car and gave me the correct license plate number. Then he hung up. Yes, I got the message. But I didn’t stop writing about dog fighting.
A week later I got a long-distance phone call … at home … from West Virginia. The voice on the other end of the line sounded like it was coming from an old-time Southern gentleman. Only this wasn’t a gentleman.
“Suh,” he said. “Ah understand you’ve been writing and casting aspersions on the fine old Southern sport of dog fighting. I just called to suggest that you cease doing this immediately, or I shall be forced to grind you up into dog food and feed you to my fighting dogs.” And he hung up.
What a curious group of people. They’re not any nicer to fellow humans than they are to their dogs.
I did finish writing my series of columns about the evils of dog fighting. You’ll be delighted to know (I hope!) that my car never went BOOM, and I never got ground up into dog food.
Keeping all of the above in mind, I’d like to remind you that dog fighting and cockfighting still thrive in some areas of California and around the United States. Wherever these “blood sports” occur, you will also find drug sales, prostitution, weapons and gambling.
There is something you can do to help put an end to this nastiness if you feel so inclined:
ASPCA URGENT ALERT
Dear Animal Advocates:
HR 137/S 261 (the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007) has been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. The Act seeks to increase the penalties for cockfighting and dog fighting. Similar bills introduced in 2006 were never voted on, so they died when Congress recessed for the year.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act would properly penalize and hopefully deter people from engaging in these brutal “blood sports.” Dogs used in dog fighting often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion and infection. Some trainers train their dogs to fight using smaller animals, such as cats, rabbits or smaller dogs as bait. The presence of animal fighting in communities has been known to lead to other crimes, such as illegal gambling, carrying of illegal weapons and drug sales.
What You Can Do
Please sign our web-letter, which will be sent to your senators and representative urging them to support the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007. You may also visit our web site to read about this legislation in greater depth.
We deeply thank you for your help and support!
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
424 E. 92nd St., New York, NY 10128
Visit us on-line at www.aspca.org