A guy in my position has lots of people whispering things in his ear. Much that comes my way I take with a grain of salt, but what I heard recently, if true, is especially disturbing to me. Granted, I am hearing this information second and third hand, and can’t get any confirmation from local officials, but with all the problems we have in this town -- crime, opiate addiction, heroin -- two new words I don’t need to hear are dog fighting.
Look, I was raised by parents that taught me to respect everything -- my surroundings, people, my elders, and of course animals. I also understand that my love for animals is probably greater than some and I’m willing to except that. And yes, I’m the guy in the movie theater that flinches more when the dog gets hurt than when the human does, in large part because I think animals are along for the ride; they really can’t help themselves because we, as humans, rule the roost.
So you can only imagine my shock when I heard that there might be dog fighting going on in the area. Michael Vick type-dog fighting. The mauling of dogs by other dogs for human entertainment.
First, let’s address this activity as entertainment. I can only go so far as to say that this is a truly twisted form of entertainment. How could someone derive pleasure from two dogs ripping each other apart? In my world, that’s a horrifying thing and something I would risk my own safety to stop if I came upon it. Dogs will fight, I get it, but for the most part it’s not what they want to do (I gotta believe that). But, as most things, we only find out about it when it’s too late, when the offense has already occurred. What does that mean? It means some pack of meatheads has already tortured and killed dogs for money. Is that what it means?
I, like you, am probably really confused by this news. I don’t know what to do about it since a majority of what I’m hearing is second and third hand. I have had it confirmed by reliable sources that can’t go on the record because nobody has launched a formal complaint or named names or even pointed members of our local law enforcement in the direction to begin an investigation (at least to the best of my knowledge). So I guess that puts it on us to make sure that they get the information they need so that these atrocities can be stopped, even if it’s an anonymous tip to get the ball rolling. It doesn’t take much, but it does have to be more concrete than a rumor.
Other things that you can do is get an education and go to the Humane Society’s website, which has a ton of good information. Also, the ASPCA’s website is chock-ablock filled with great stuff. So if you are as outraged as I am at the very thought of this then take a look at these websites and get a little more information, but by no means should you ever feel like you should take these people on by yourself. Always get law enforcement involved (which is something I have to tell myself all the time).
As humans we put two people in a ring and watch them slug it out for trophy money. But they are humans who made a conscious decision to train and learn the sport; dogs are not given this opportunity. A dog fight on the average lasts one to two hours and only ends when one of the dogs will not or cannot continue. In a human fight there is a referee there to determine whether or not someone can continue or not, or if it’s going badly they stop the fight. The humans (or sub-humans) that control the dog fight do not do that. In fact, they kick and punch the animals to keep the level of aggression high.
I don’t need to tell you that this is cruel, and I’m not sure how or why it happens, and I for one would love to live in a world where cruelty of any kind, and especially animal cruelty, doesn’t happen. What the Hell is up with that?