September 15, 2009
Michael Vick’s arrival has shed light on local dogfighting. It’s a brutal subculture
By DAVE DAVIES
Philadelphia Daily News
MICHAEL Vick is just beginning to fulfill his promise to fight animal abuse, but experts say that he already has had a powerful effect on the world of dogfighting, both positive and negative.
When agents raided his rural Virginia property in 2007 and discovered his Bad Newz Kennels, a largely invisible world was pulled into public view.
It was a world where someone in the know could get you one of a dozen trade publications, like “Scratch Back” magazine, which offered advice on feeding your fighter (“raw meat cut into strips three or four times a week”) and whether to use steroids (“you can burn up a dog’s liver and kidneys if you don’t know what you’re doing.”)
It was a world where tens of thousands of self-described “dogmen” bred and raised dogs to maul each other in refereed matches conducted with strictly enforced rules.
In the “Sporting Dog Journal,” the dominant trade magazine, you could find ads for Hellz Comin Kennels, and read results of dozens of dog matches throughout the country.
It was a world where an unwanted dog might be dispatched by attaching one terminal of a live battery cable to his lip and another to his hindquarter. One former dogfighter said electrocution was considered relatively humane, since “it stops the heart quicker” than hanging.
And it was a world where less well-organized dogfighters were proliferating in cities like Philadelphia, raising pit bulls in basement kennels and fighting their dogs in empty lots, garages and abandoned buildings.
September 12, 2009
Click below to watch the Pennsylvania SPCA’s new public service announcement detailing the horrible abuse suffered by the victims of dog fighting.