Thursday, September 24, 2009

And Another Sad Story in the Media

Yesterday the story broke of a bust on a dog fighting ring (ran out of the same home as a licensed day care) in Maywood, which is not so very far from where we live. It is always harder when these things happen close to home. The original article was illustrated with a "vicious dog fighting" graphic which has been replaced with some photos, but really bothered me and definitely distracted from the issue at hand. Can we get a "vicious humans" graphic, please? I have read a lot of dog fighting stories in the media and this is maybe one of the worst as far as the descriptions of the conditions of the dogs who were found, so I recommend that you read at your own risk.

This morning I read the updated story, which is illustrated with a painfully adorable picture of the Cook County Sheriff holding a 4-week-old white pit bull puppy that could melt any heart. Seriously, adorable.

A few things really struck me about this story:
1) The majority of the comments (as far as I read) have been surprisingly positive in terms of not bashing the breed. I don't know how people could read a story like this and still blame the dogs. These conditions are not fit for anyone and it is no wonder that these dogs may not be happy to see people. They are AFRAID.
2) The comment in the story of one of the neighbors that she was (understandably) afraid of these dogs and is glad that they have been removed. Okay, well now you still have to live alongside these PEOPLE and you are okay with that?
3) One of the suspects spoke to the media and is quoted as dismissing what the police have found as nothing major. Not something you see every day.
4) As the police were investigating this home, they look into the neighbors yard and see ANOTHER abused pit bull and subsequently bust that guy, too.
5) There is a law against felons owning an unaltered dog?
6) It is no wonder that people can grow up with a lack of compassion for animals when this house contained a daycare and the children were literally playing outside beside abused and mangled dogs. We need to work so hard to teach the next generation that this is not normal or right.

We will see where this story goes, but I think the public at large is definitely getting on the side of anti-dog fighting and I can only hope that this case will be another step towards ending dog fighting in our society completely.

Now go and hug your dogs.


Lilo, The Great Rock Eater said...

Wow, I am floored!!! There are no words to express the horror I wold feel at having those people in my neighborhood. Those poor dogs. Hopefully the ones that can be saved will be given a second chance in a warm loving home and shown that we are not all like that. The wife needs to go down right along with the rest of them. I hope the charges stick and they all do time.

Jess & Lilo

PeeeSeee: That neighbor has some issues if all she is worried about is the poor dogs!

Leah said...

Tom Dart? Is he the one we see so often giving these dogs another chance and speaking in a great way about pit bulls? He looked familiar in that video and he's just fantastic if he's who I think he is.

Flo said...

I have several ideas for the "vicious human graphic" is Michael Vick Available. You know I was at lunch the other day with co-workers and Vick came up (remind me next time we talk so we can discuss this, curious about your view on it)

Anyway, this is story is hearbreaking and odd all at once. A daycare. Plus the fact that scene was so violent in the garage *nightmares*

That white puppy is just adorable.

Perhaps your idea of bringing your pups to school to speak about the breed is a good idea (I remember you mentioning it as an idea in the past)

Nicole said...

Oh Jess & Lilo, I agree! I would rather have the dogs (well cared for, of course!) in my neighborhood than the people! It is tragic and amazing to me they way people can deny responsibility for something that they were clearly responsible for.

You know, Leah, I do not know much about Tom Dart, but I will be paying attention now! There have been a lot of dog fighting "issues" in Cook county as of late, so it would make sense that Tom Dart has been involved.

Flo, We will definitely be working with Safe Humane Chicago to the best of our ability to edcuate children and the public about pit bull dogs, etc. I hope that we can get something organized soon. The reporter who did the Berwyn Life story actually asked me for a word that described my feelings about Michael Vick and they published it at the bottom of the article where I talk about it being "disappointing" but they didn't really put that quote in context.

Princess said...

PS. Leah is Princess's mom not sure why it showed up that way!

Rachel said...

A "vicious humans" graphic would be well appreciated. I get sick and tired of dogs being blamed for/euthanised because of appalling human behaviour. In the UK there are often stories about dogs (usually Rots and Doberman) savaging children and the dog is put down, but when you actually read the story these huge, majestic animals are being kept in squalor or in tiny spaces and never getting any exercise. I cannot tell you how sick it makes me.

Also, I don't know how it works in the States but we have breed specific legislation which also apalls me but I should probably stop ranting in your blog eh?

On a side note, yesterday there was a story in the paper about 8 kittens from 2 litters that had been found at the town dump. Andy had to literally stop me from going and adopting all of them right there and then (although maybe I could have just one right?) :). But why, why, why? Just get your animals neutered surely?

[/end of rant]

Nicole said...

Rachel, Yes! A lot of the problem is that the media is not focusing on the real issue. If you neglect and abuse and starve and tease a dog, it's going to act out! If you do those things to a human, do you expect them to grow up well-mannered? No. Dogs are the same.

Yes, there is BSL in the states, but it is not national, it is on a city-by-city basis. Some cities do not allow pit bulls or require that they be muzzled in public and none of it solves the real problem. People who have dangerous dogs are not responsible pet owners. If the animal cruelty laws in existance could actually be enforced (manpower issues), then that would always be a big help. Another would be mandatory spay and neuter (or at least a big fee for having an in tact dog which would put some thought into breeding).

We actually talked before about moving to the UK for a little bit someday just for the experience, but we likely never will because our pups couldn't come due to the ban on pit bull dogs. Poor little Wrigley can never come visit!

Awww, kittens! I hope they all get amazing homes and lots of love.