By Sharon Gomes Thomas
Dogs playing in the park, chasing balls, chasing each other, and wagging their tails make us smile. However, it’s inconceivable that any sane person can watch dogs hurting each other and consider it entertainment. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has been indicted on federal charges for participating in the dreadful pursuit of dog fighting. He faces a long road ahead — a complicated legal process, lost endorsement deals, and an uncertain football future. Whether he is culpable for these charges and receives a jail sentence remains to be seen.
What these recent events have brought into the glare of publicity is the sad fate that these dogs suffer. Sweet puppies are socialized through a multitude of cruel tactics to become adults who brawl. If they don’t die in the ring, they are likely to be unkindly killed. Even if they do get rescued by the authorities, it is immensely difficult to rehabilitate them. These dogs need your help and your voice.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke, English statesman and political philosopher (1729-1797)
Join the Humane Society (www.HSUS.org) in their campaign against animal fighting by making a donation. Also on the informative Humane Society site are brochures on animal fighting and current legislation initiatives. Knowledge is a good thing.
You can also send a message to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl.
If you’d like to wear your heart on your sleeve, pick up one or more of the bold Dog Fighters Are Scum T-shirts, tote bags or caps from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (www.PETA.org).
Their gift store is at www.cafepress.com/petastore/3337243. Be loud and be proud! You can also join hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and civil rights leader The Rev. Al Sharpton in their condemnation of dog fighting by signing the PETA petition.