The End Dogfighting campaign: the HSUS helps ex-dogfighters with education and looooove   »

Stereotypically, your Vegansaurus loves public radio. We also love dogs, DUH, and pit bulls particularly. Today’s Morning Edition returned that love hundredfold, with a story about personal and canine redemption.

The End Dogfighting campaign began in Chicago in 2006, expanded to Atlanta in 2008, and has just begun in Philadelphia. It “recruits former dogfighters and young, at-risk pit bull owners to take weekly training classes with their pets.” And you know what happens when people take their dogs to quality training classes on a regular basis? MAGIC—or, you know, the humans and animals develop mutual respect and love. According to Chicago program leader Tio Hardiman, “there’s a connection between fighting pit bulls and struggling to live in a violent society…. [K]eeping guys out of the world of dogfighting is good for them, their dogs, their families and the rest of the community.”

They also say that Michael Vick’s “testimony” about his former dogfighting exploits is really helpful, as he shares a socioeconomic background with many of the programs’ participants. Look at multimillionaire, making a difference!

What you need to do, though, is go to NPR and listen to Elizabeth Fiedler’s report—like all dogfighting stories, it’s got some horrific elements, but hearing the people talk about their experiences themselves, while the dogs bark all happily in the background, is way more valuable than reading a description.

[photo of official Vegansaurus mascot and best beloved pit bull Hazel by Laura!]


Need some Thursday heartbreak? How about a video of rescued fighting dogs  »

Thanks, Time magazine, I wanted to cry my eyes out before lunch. This video features dogs, primarily pit bulls, of course, who were rescued on July 8 in “the largest raid in history against the underground dogfighting racket” (there’s also identical¬†text and photos).

This makes Malcolm Gladwell and his “football is as bad as dogfighting” article in the Oct. 19 New Yorker seem¬†especially¬†ridiculous; as if a football coach would ever put human players in immediate mortal danger on a regular basis. As if football required the players to fight each other to the death. As if fighting dogs got the chance of a life, or were compensated for their efforts. COME ON.

"If these muscular terriers have a flaw, their defenders maintain, it is an excess of devotion. ‘Their love for humans is why this breed is in trouble,’ says [Tiffany] McBee. ‘They will take the abuse.’ Placed with the right companion, their devotion becomes a virture—as Helen Keller knew. One of her pets was a pit bull."

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