Message from Montie

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Carroll Care Center partners with HSUS to eliminate dogfighting in Chicago

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Tio Hardiman, anti-dogfighting advocate recruiter, stands with pit bull Brisko

 Pit bulls have a bad reputation for being aggressive, only wanting to fight and not being good pets. This is why I never desired to have one, but after visiting Chicago's west side Carroll Care Center location in early September, I had to rethink that stereotype.

 

While waiting to complete interviews with pit bull trainers from the Carroll Care Center, I sat in the recreation area watching the owners of 12 pit bulls focus on the dog-training lessons that lead pit bull trainer, Jeff Jenkins, taught them. Carroll Care Center partners with the Humane Society of the United States to help in eliminating dogfighting, pit bull owners learn to train their dogs to be obedient and rescued dogs are often sent to the anti-dogfighting center. Of course there were dogs who weren't from a dogfighting background who were also being trained.

 

While watching the dog owners, I started to tear up three times but "woman'd up" before anybody saw me. While I expected to be disgusted by dogfighting and feel sympathy towards one of the rescued dogs, Honor--who'd been shot in the eye and gotten a broken hip from an abusive owner--it didn't occur to me that I'd be emotionally attached watching something as simple as dog training. Pit bulls of all shapes and sizes came pounding through the door, and I looked on in admiration instead of fear. I am not remotely scared of dogs, and I just kept thinking about my own German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever who I'd had for 13 years. Watching these trainers train their dogs and just be able to pet, walk and laugh while their dogs did funny things like walk around the wooden stoops instead of hopping over them was surely something my own dog (Shep) would've done. These comical incidents were very human-like things to do, like the Peanut comic strip's Snoopy. And those who are dog lovers understand the bond and memories that a dog owner and a dog share.

 

For quite some time, I had zero sympathy for Michael Vick for making money from dogfighting, but it wasn't until I met a past dogfighter-turned-dog-trainer named Sean Moore that I was able to look at the vicious activity from another perspective. Before talking to Moore, I would've reported dogfighters, gotten the $5,000 reward and not felt an ounce of sympathy for them. But Carroll Care Center dogfighters and the owner of the center, Minister Tim White Sr., repeatedly emphasized how important it is "to train the masters to teach them that dogs aren't made to fight, they're taught to fight" and why it's so necessary to get inside the owner's head. And to my surprise, 24-year-dogfighter Moore, who is 38 years old, was actually one of the most affectionate dog owners I encountered while I was there, and he was quick to point out that Tio Hardiman, special consultant to the HSUS and a Ceasefire representative, had a lot to do with that. Hardiman recruits anti-dogfighting advocates in inner city neighborhoods who have the qualifications and experience to be able to connect with current dogfighters.

 

According to the Humane Society of the United States, dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states, and 250,000 dogs suffer each year. In addition to 40,000 organized dogfights, 100,000 street dogfights happen in alleys, vacant lots and other hidden locations. The Chicago Police Department reported that 65 percent of the people charged with dogfighting also committed crimes against people.

 

If you own a pit bull and are interested in learning how to train your dog, or you just want to get out of the dogfighting world and lend to a positive cause, visit the Carroll Care Center at 3334 W. Carroll on Saturdays at 1 p.m. for the one-hour training session or 6810 S. Ashland on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. If you know someone who is participating in dogfighting, it's never too late to save the dogs by reporting these crimes. For more information, click here.

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26 Comments

Diana Durkes said:

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I own a pit bull and feel no sympathy toward Michael Vick or any other dog owner who trains or engages their canines in dog fighting. I lack sympathy because I cannot imagine why or how anyone would do such a thing to a dog. I don't have first hand knowledge of this dark side of our society, but do know the joys of owning a pit bull. Having decided to get a small dog from a shelter, we drove to Orphans of the Storm in Deerfield, and Reese was the smallest one there. Our lucky day!

Message from Montie said:

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Diana, If you read my link to the words "Michael Vick," you'll know that I was right there with you and up until I covered the Carroll Care Center, you couldn't have talked me out of reporting EVERYBODY involved in dogfighting. But I really started listening to the things that the dog trainers were saying, and it made me look at it a lot differently than I had before. I guess the only way I can make you relate to it is to ask you are you a vegan? I think people who eat meat are cruel because they're helping to support slaughterhouses who kill animals for our greed. A cow has a life just like a dog, only difference is he's a pet. I've been a vegetarian for years for that reason alone. Now...do you think omnivores are cruel because they "do such a thing" as eat what once was a life?

Steve Dale said:

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Montie, I'm Steve Dale - the Chicago Now pet blogger, and I've been covering dogfighting for many years now, going with the CPD on ride-alongs, and speaking with experts not only in Chicago but all over the country.It's a topic I do know about. I appreciate your post, and thank you.

I do, however, cringe when you call dog fighting a sport. Don't know if you're a baseball, basketball or football fan...those are sports. Calling dog fighting a sport is like calling torture and/or murder a sport - that's what happens to the dogs....You're right most dogs have NO predisposition to go that far, they are taught and encouraged, prodded and pushed to fight. They're fed gunpowder (not sure how that helps anything, except makes them sick) and Vick's Kennel wasn't the only to electrocute. And still most dogs fail, and those individuals are used as bait. So are lovely little innocent pampered dogs snatched from backyards, and used as bait. Stray cats are also used as bait. Reasons to beware about keeping dogs in yards unsupervised or letting cats out, by the way.

Diana, you are wonderful to adopt a Pit Bull. As you likely know I've fought breed specific bans in Chicago and many other places. I'm your rescue was your lucky day because Pit Bulls type dogs (some question as to what a Pittie even is) are extraordinarly loyal to their people, that's a part of the reason why Bully breeds were the chosen dog in the first place.

It bothers me some that Tio and his group doesn't always work with the police. His 'recruiting methods,' may make me thing of vigilantism. I don't deny they've also been effective.

Whether you buy into what Vick said about his excuse for fighting dogs (it was all around him when he grew up)...Our job is to change that culture of violence. And that is what it is - violence, horrific violence to animals which we know leads to violence to people. We know that. Not my opinion. It's a fact. Vick (with a mandate from the NFL) promised to do just that. And I think in many places he is still (sadly) revered. In those places, he can make a huge difference, if he only tries. I'm not certain he's tried. He's appeared at several highly choreographed press events with the HSUS. As far as I know, that's all...Meanwhile, the guy has the top-selling jersey (More on my views on Vick on my blog). What's wrong with that picture?

I will post today or tomorrow on two dogfighting busts worse that Vick. Dogfighting is as pervasive today in our society as violence. It's really very sad....for so many reasons.

Message from Montie said:

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Steve, the word "sport" has been removed. I had to go back and look at that post to clarify that I'd used the term, and you are right. It was inappropriate. I am aware of all the punishment that dogs go through with dogfighting, hence the reason why I said before I talked to members at the Carroll Care Center, I'd have just reported it and been on my way.

However, I completely disagree with you about your opinions of Tio Hardiman and his group. I've also spoken with Jeff Jenkins, and I asked all of them would they report someone who was involved in dogfighting. Tio Hardiman himself said that Sean Moore went so far as to sit at a dogfighters' dinner table with his parents to get him to stop the fighting. From the stories I heard, they're working their butts off to decrease the rate, and throwing somebody in prison without explaining to them that dogfighting is wrong isn't really going to cut it. This is why I wish that Vick would've had to work with PETA for a year instead of going to prison.

If you've never had anybody tell you that dogfighting is wrong and you grow up in a culture that does it regularly, then YOU won't feel it's wrong, much like cockfighting (considered a "sport") is in Mexico. They call it "tradition." Or, in the US, where pounds and pounds of meat sit in grocery stores for Americans to consume, never mind that slaughterhouses have way more abuse than any dogfighting ring. Watch "Food, Inc." See hundreds of hogs smashed together with elevators so we can eat ham and bacon and all that other jazz. If we're going to fight animal cruelty, we have to be able to fight ALL animal cruelty, not just dogs. So I ask you the same question I asked Diana: Are you a vegetarian? I am!

Message from Montie said:

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Steve, I do have one additional point that I want to make very clear in the reason that I support Tio Hardiman, Jeff Jenkins, and the HSUS who partnered with this group. Tio Hardiman talked about recruiting members who are comfortable talking to those who are dogfighting. The BEST way to reach ANY group is to find people that they can relate to. If a person walks in shaking their fingers and yelling about "It's wrong," you'll lose that group completely. It's like a man talking to a girl about how annoying it is to a have a period. The first thing that girl is going to say is, "You don't know a thing about womanhood." What those group of recruiters excel at is they know exactly what's going through the minds of these men, and they've grown up in areas where these dogfighters are from.

I strongly support them being the recruiters that go out and try to reach and stop them from dogfighting. Have you ever actually talked to Tio Hardiman or gone to the Carroll Care Center? I'm asking because you have such strong opinions and call it "vigilantism" and judging from what you stated above, you've covered dogfighting issues, but talking about people who you have not even met (assuming you haven't met them) sounds very judgmental, and I don't mean that as a compliment either. And your attitude is EXACTLY what will make dogfighters turn a deaf ear to you.

Steve Dale said:

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Perhaps, I am being too harsh on Hardimann...on that you may be right. Of course, people who have been there, dogfighting themselves, can relate in a way I can't. I would never argue that.

Yes - I've met many who sadly have fought dogs...not hard to find them unfortunately.

One of the many sad things about dogfighting is that we know that violence begets violence....so those who fight dogs, then tend to have violent actions against people. What's more they indoctrinate little kids - desensitizing them to violence...never mind twisting their images of what relationship with a dog can be. However, children who grow up with animals in typical settings (not using those animals to fight with) end up being more empathetic as adults.

Message from Montie said:

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Have you ever even met Tio Hardiman to make such judgments? If you have sat down and had a one-on-one conversation with him and came to these conclusions, then cool. But if not, you are calling this man a vigilante solely off him not track-running to the cops. And that I don't agree with.

I definitely agree with you about dogfighters then being violent to humans. In the Chicago Defender article that I link within this blog, one of the interviewees quoted statistics on this, and the HSUS confirms it as well. But there is also a big wharped group of people who don't kill dogs and still love to beat the living daylights out of people. However, that's another blog.

We have the same views on dogfighting in regard to it being wrong, but we are just going to have to agree to disagree on slaughterhouses, eating meat, and Michael Vick because I'm not budging on those topics. I feel like he's done his time and people need to leave him alone to get on with his life.

Steve Dale said:

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply, and removing the word 'sport.'

I understand what you say about tradition - - - an adult living our greater society is an adult, though, who can make decisions for him or herself. Dogfighting is, for starters, simply against the law. Second, ALWAYS, there are other crimes concurrently going on. So, people who fight dogs - even if they don't care about dogs - are knowingly breaking the law. I'm not sure what excuse there is for an adult to ever do that....we're not talking about going through a stop sign, as you point out, it's a felony.

It's one thing and bad enough to show up at such a spectacle, but Vick was bankrolling the thing...and knew of the torture going on.

He may have grown up in a place where dogfighting was considered 'the norm,' and I understand that. However....I really don't believe that he didn't realize that dogfighting isn't acceptable. If that was the case, why was he so secretive? Of course, he knew what he was doing is wrong - very wrong....but even if he didn't....my questions wasn't so much about that...but rather, what is he doing now? He has a great opportunity to make a difference. Many members of the 'dogfighting culture' apparently revere him even more today than ever (something wrong with that picture?). So, he could reach out to them? Where is he? He's doing the minimal (if that) of what the NFL Commissioner said he must do. Also, so you know....Another animal welfare group (maybe more than one for all I know) was asked to participate with Vick following his release from jail. They didn't want any part of it. I can't say why the HSUS said 'yes.' For me, it was an interesting choice. Lately, they've made many 'interesting choices,' some don't benefit animals as much as perhaps their fund-raising.

About PeTA, I am hardly a fan. I'm not a fan of accosting children being accompanied to see 'The Nutcracker,' (last Christmas season) and screaming in their faces 'cause their mom is wearing a fur coat. Believe me, I am not endorsing wearing of fur, but I don't agree at all with their tactics, which are sometimes illegal. And the one shelter they had was a woeful failure to say the least - in fact, I believe some were prosecuted for killing animals who were involved. I am proud to work with the ASPCA, American Humane (I'm on their Board), Best Friends, animal shelters and others....and work with veterinarian (who cares for animals more?). But not animal rights groups.

I'm not a vegetarian. Not sure why you are asking. But if you are suggesting, as you seem to be, I care only about dogs and cats, or don't care about animals because I'm not a vegetarian....that's kind of insulting with my track record, to me and many others I know who are not vegetarians, but clearly have made a difference in the world. I admit I struggle with that choice, and don't each a whole lot of meat anyway....but I do eat some. And that is my personal choice. Nothing, as far as I know, unlawful or unethical about eating a burger.

Message from Montie said:

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Steve, and that's my point exactly. You don't see why it's unethical to eat the remains of an animal that is forcefed food it doesn't biologically eat, having skin torn from it so slaughterhouses can shove more food into it, make it so fat that it can't walk on its own legs, and then kill it so you can have a burger.

The consumption of meat is not illegal for the same reason that people aren't punished for watching pornography. It's profitable. There's a reason that I can buy a burger for $1 but have to pay $7 for a salad. There is no dogfighter in the U.S. that does more harm than a slaughterhouse, and animal agriculture is one of the primary reasons why we have so much pollution--slaughterhouses add to it.

So while you're judging dogfighters, you should be judging slaughterhouse workers too. You can't judge one without judging the other. Why? They're BOTH torturing animals, and one is torturing a massive amount of animals at a much greater number, simply because most Americans eat meat.

Message from Montie said:

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I don't know what else to say to you about Michael Vick. I think dogfighting is a heinous crime in the same way I think slaughterhouse workers are committing a heinous crime. Yes, Michael Vick was not too bright to be working in the dogfighting industry knowing full well it was illegal and cruel, but the slaughterhouse industry knows that there should be better worker's compensation for workers (specifically illegal aliens) who were bussed in to work and have been here for 15-20 years working in these manufacturing companies, and now that we're coming down on people from other countries getting all the jobs, now they have to go. The government didn't turn a blind eye while the Mexican population rose. They brought them here, and many of them were brought to do dirty jobs like work at slaughterhouses. Keep in mind I'm not blaming Mexicans; I'm blaming the government for making a profit off slaughterhouses for people like you who like to eat meat.

So while you've spent all this time shaking a finger at Vick, you should be shaking a finger at anybody who participates in animal cruelty, including eating a burger.

Michael Vick did his time, and considering you've made yourself the judge, the lawyer, and the jury on when Vick is worthy to be a citizen again is repulsive to me. He did his time. Leave that man alone. It's sickening to me that people want to punish him for eternity. With that logic, nobody should ever be released from prison. They should just all serve the death penalty because you don't approve of them going on with their lives.

I wrote a letter to Nike supporting Vick being signed to their product. At this point and as much as I hate dogfighting, I'm liable to buy the product even if I don't want it solely because I believe in second chances. Until YOU practice what you preach, YOU shouldn't be the one wagging your finger at anybody. And I'm a vegetarian saying Vick should get a second chance, knowing how much I'm in support of animal rights.

Diana Durkes said:

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Montie,
I read your linked piece on Michael Vick, and yes, I am a vegetarian for perhaps the same reason you are-- the inhuman practices of the beef, pork and poultry industries.

I'd like to say I'm all for the hands-on, making a difference work that the Carroll Care Center is doing, but how is it that dogfighters don't know that the practice is wrong? I cannot believe that the cries and yelps of their victims don't clue them in.

I remember clearly one day when my boys were little, they watched the Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon after school. The younger one stood up, imitated the turtle style of fighting and kicked his brother in the face. Lots of blood, lots of crying and ow's and the younger one learned not to do it again. He learned that his action caused pain and that heroes aren't exactly what they seem (even on the half shell).

When you write that dogfighting is a tradition among some parts of the culture, is it possible the participants know it's illegal but choose to follow the tradition of someone they admire (for whatever reasons--power, reputation)? It leads me to wonder: why do some people, such as the dogfighters, need a role model to tell them it's wrong? Do they not hear it within themselves or in the dogs' cries?

Message from Montie said:

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Diana, thanks for revisiting! I'm glad you are a vegetarian and understand the moral issues with eating meat. However, I have posed this question to those who are against dogfighting and I usually get a loud silence. It's so hypocritical to me to try to defend dogs without defending other animals and seems a little convenient. But since you aren't one of those people, I am relieved.

As far as your other question about people not seeing dogfighting as wrong, have you ever asked an omnivore why they don't think eating meat is wrong? It's about the same response. No sympathy.

While there are those who do participate in dogfighting for survival (ex. paying for rent, paying to move, money for clothes, etc., and it's a way to make money from pure laziness about getting a job and addictive like gambling), there are those who flat out believe, "Well, I'm not killing a human so what's the big deal?"

Animals in slaughterhouses yelp and cry and want to be freed just like dogs do, but the government makes dogfighting illegal but taxes ground beef and porkchops. While there is never a commercial about electrocuting a dog, I see commercials all day from grocery stores showing off animal bodies (i.e., fresh meat and produce at nearest grocery store). Now if that's not hypocritical, I don't know what is. From dogfighters that I talked to, they truly just feel like, "It's just a dog." It's like if a rat is in my home and I kill it because I don't want it there, I don't know too many people who would go "Poor rat" (outside of PETA). That's the way dogfighters view dogs.

When I talk to omnivores about the animal torture going into the meat department at grocery stores, they put their hands over their ears or stare indignantly at me as if they don't care and give me a speech about humans being more important.

Sometimes people have to learn the hard way (like your Ninja Turtle story) and see things first-hand before they'll stop. If a person who grows up in a dogfighting culture never sees dogs really be anybody's pets, they're not going to look at it as a pet, the same way I don't look at rats as "cute furry pets." I look at them as...rats! It's all in the mind.

What the trainers do is get the dogfighters to FINALLY view their dogs as living, breathing, peaceful animals that happen to be dogs and would rather be companions than a dollar sign. I don't support dogfighting. I really don't. But it took me talking to dogfighters to finally understand (AND FULLY NOT AGREE!) with what they're saying. And I found out that so much of the rationale is just like those who grew up in homes where meat is eaten regularly.

Steve Dale said:

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not sure you really mean this...there's no difference between consuming beef and dog fighting....maybe you're chowing down on too much tofu....I thought tofu was supposed to be brain food. 'm not even giving that the dignity of an answer.

I do not have a problem with our city killing 'street rats.' Of course, pet rats are different. For starters, they're a different species. Wolves are canines, lions are felines. I'm not suggesting with live with either of those....the reasons for rat control are related to public health. If the city did nothing about rats - yes, you could be sharing your home with them....believe me, you would feel differently, especially if you knew someone who died of rabies (which would be rampant if there was a rat infestation...not to mention is rats who carry various other disease, including the plague).

I frequently write about flea control for dogs and cats. Several years ago some PeTA person threatened me, and called me names because I endorsed killing fleas (they are living, breathing, peaceful animals - insects are animals and fleas are insects. Fleas just need to eat - like we all do - so happens, they eat blood.

I know lots of people who eat meat, and they would never think of fighting dogs. Not sure being a vegetarian inherently means that person wouuld never fight dogs.

Message from Montie said:

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If you're not going to give my response the "dignity of an answer," then maybe you need not respond at all. If I never ate another piece of tofu in my life, my response would still be the same. If you're going to support animal rights, support it all, not just pets. Because there are parts of the country that don't view dogs as pets, such as in China, where dogs are equal to rats.

I don't have a problem with you writing about flea control or getting rid of street rats, but this holier than thou attitude you have about the prison system and dogs and the blind eye you turn to slaughterhouses is not only naive, you're basically delusional. I don't respect that.

Steve Dale said:

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I support animal welfare....not sure anyone has ever accused me of not....most veterinarians I know eat meat (not all, but the overwhelming majority), so the suggestion is they don't care about animals? Or shelter professionals? Or some of the most well known conservationists and researchers of wildlife who I have had the pleasure of meeting.... Not sure how calling me names is helpful to get your point across. Or what the point is concerning China. I don't live there.

Message from Montie said:

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If I didn't like my hair so much, I'd pull it out having this conversation. *sigh* In my personal and not-so-humble opinion, I think anybody who makes a point of standing up for animal cruelty but then turns around and eats meat is a hypocrite. Killing an animal is killing an animal. Let me elaborate on my point about China. While you may feel that a dog is a loving, loyal, and smart pet, there are those who just flat out look at a dog as equal to a rat. They could care less about a dog, have no interest whatsover in making it a pet, and would rather kick it than pet it. And then there are those who have NEVER considered dogs pets. In China, eating dog is not this gross, terrible thing, it's a normal food to eat. I used to think this was a talltale until I started talking to Chinese people who did eat dog in China. I can't remember what culture it is that views beef as sacred, but at a textbook publishing company I worked for, some people came from out of the country and were horrified to see roast beef sandwiches on a serving plate.

Every culture does NOT have your same views on dogs. And even if we break it down just within the U.S., there is a part of society that just doesn't have the same love you have for dogs. THIS is why dogfighting continues to exist. YOU say it's wrong, but they view dogfighting the same way YOU view eating meat, knowing full well that it's torturing the animal.

Message from Montie said:

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Just so we're clear, I was saying your ANSWERS were naive and the rationale was delusional. I never called you any names. I don't do that. I actually warned another commenter about doing that on the Derrion Albert entry. However, you did insult my brain in reference to eating tofu, so once again, you're throwing stones but not trying to get hit back. Be careful of that please.

Steve Dale said:

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One more thing...I like Karen's and the Chicago Diner to name a few...We have lots of friends who are vegetarians, some work with animals, some not. I certainly respect them, and as far as I know they don't judge me. Being a vegetarian or not really has little to do with dogfighting which is simply barbaric (never mind those other crimes police officials say are always going on simultaneously, which range from selling drugs to minors to illegal gambling to murder - the list is apparently a long one).

Message from Montie said:

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Animal cruelty is animal cruelty. Whether it's in a slaughterhouse or a backyard, animals are being killed for economical gain. The only difference is that the dogs aren't eaten (in America) after they're killed and American manufacturing companies make more money and tear up the planet by contributing to killing animals for meat. Slaughterhouses are FAR worse, and for you to not be able to comprehend that shows me you're either in denial because you want a hotdog after you get off the computer or you're solely concerned with dogs. But again, if you're going to wag a finger at animal cruelty, you can't then justify people cutting chickens' heads off, boiling live lobsters, slamming hogs and pigs with elevators to kill a bunch of them at one time, and forcefeeding cows so you can have a meal.

It's interesting to me how you're so up in arms for me judging you on being hypocritical about animal rights, but you sure are doing a whole lot of judging of Michael Vick, a man who served his time and you STILL want his name run through dirt.

Steve Dale said:

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I'm done after this...Just want to say, if you've ever been to China (and clearly you haven't or haven't in many many many years), in big cities - particularly those with means - dogs are more or less thought of as here as we do here. In fact, there's a trend there to dye their hair. I don't get it - but it's an indication of how 'foo foo' some are with their pets their. Pet clothing is something of a trend there too. I have a nephew that lives in Shang Hai currently (he's lived all over China) and I know others who are there or have been there.

However, China is a big and complex place and in the Northeast what you describe is still true...and in rural areas and in some places in some cities stray dogs are an issue - and they're rounded up and killed, not eaten. And sometimes, the police even snatch owned dogs - it's no way to control rabies, and it's cruel.

I never said Vick needed to pay a higher price. I agree he paid his time. It was the NFL Commissioner who imposed several mandates including going into communities to talk about dogfighting. So far, anyway, he's only done that very rarely and very strategically in carefully choreographed events - as far as I know. Maybe later, we'll learn he's done more. I sure hope so. He has an opportunity which most people never have - that's to help impact a change of culture. I hope he does that. But clearly anyone who has been involved in dogfighting is hardly a good guy. You never addressed what I said about dogfighting (and the many other crimes always associated) are simply against the law. Isn't that deterrent enough, even if you never get that it's barbaric. So, if you grow up thinking shooting people is ok, you can do it? I do understand what you're saying about 'culture,' but adults are supposed to know right from wrong aren't they? And when those adults have children, teach their kids right from wrong. Vick did know what he was doing is wrong, clearly.

As for our prison system, I didn't say one word about it...so I don't know what you're alluding to.

And as I said, dogfighting is against the law - eating a burger is not...They are hardly the same.

As I said, I'm done....gotta to back to work.

Message from Montie said:

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China: I'm going to believe a native over someone who has a friend of a friend who went there. Everybody does not view dogs the way Americans do. Period.

Vick: You have several blogs talking about how Vick needs to speak here or there, and your whole Nike blog is defaming his character as if he didn't go to prison at all. You say you agree that he paid his time, but I don't think you do considering the complaints you have about Nike. Even if Vick doesn't do more, the fact of the matter is the everyday man is, and that's the guys who are recruiting and fighting against dogfighting at the Carroll Care Center. We need to stop relying on celebrities to do the heavy work and letting the everyday person slide.

Dogfighting/Good Guy: That's your opinion, not a fact.

Dogfighting: Yes, it's against the law. Yes, people hide it because they know it's against the law. Smoking weed is against the law too, but people do it. Killing people is against the law, but there are self-defense cases. There's always an exception to the rule. And slaughterhouses are the special exception to the animal cruelty rule. It's hypocritical. I don't agree with it. If it was up to me, slaughterhouses would all be closed tonight and dogfighters would stop fighting dogs. Adults should understand how wrong it is to eat something that's been tortured, forcefed, left in a dark room, and smashed, but apparently you and others don't. They should be able to teach their children not to eat something that was killed brutally for their benefit. Hunting was one thing. Having a freezer full of animals that will probably be thrown away if the meat isn't bought on time is another.

Like I said, we agree that dogfighting is wrong, but I think if you really want to stand up for animal rights, you have to clearly understand that ALL animals should be defended, not just the ones who bark.

chriscat65 said:

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Wow, what a banter back and forth between dog fighting and vegetarianism. I can say this... there are a LOT of animal welfare issues in this world and as long as there are humans there will be cruelty and violence and animals (as well as people) will suffer. All those of us who care can do is try and make the public aware and get as many as possible on our side (we got all the horse slaughter houses closed down in the USA by doing this). We shouldn't be fighting with one another.

We all hate dog fighting, that was the issue here in the beginning. And yes, factory farming and the way animals are slaughtered there is horrible and cruel. But then again so is soring a horse (as I wrote in my article Soring and the Tennessee Walking Horse), and so is Horse Tripping (a very cruel "sport" I plan to write on next)... some think rodeos are cruel, others don't. Some think if you can't kill it, you have no right eating it (and yet others are against hunting, but hunters kill it themselves don't they?)... And what about bull fighting? ... etc. The bottom line is anything that HURTS an animal with a brain and feelings (yes this includes rats, which by the way DO NOT spread rabies as they cannot get rabies) should be considered wrong to those of us who care. But many people just don't empathize. Some are just naive and others prefer to turn the other way.

So, please people, let's not fight one another! Let's ban together on the issues we agree upon and let the rest go.

Thank you.
Christine Church
Author
House Cat, How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane  & Sound
Indoor Cats
Your Outta Control Cat
Hartford Horses Examiner
Hartford Cats Examiner

Message from Montie said:

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ChrisCat65,
I had a conversation with a lady who used to own horses, and she told me the horse industry was way more abusive than dogfighting. I just didn't even want to know any details of that. I used to cringe at circuses when the whip would sound as horses came running out, and I flat out refused to go on a horse and carriage ride on my prom night. I've been to a couple of rodeos when I was little, and I didn't enjoy that or horseback riding, mainly because I wasn't feeling how the horses were forced to let us ride them. I think I was always a little activist, so nobody even batted an eye when I stopped eating meat.

Anyway, I appreciate your advice. Thanks for commenting, and I'll check out your page soon.

Taomi Kyte said:

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TTKYTE
Stop the violence and keep our youth and others empowered with “Healthier Trends” that help with modifying the behavior. Great Job Carroll Center lets keep up the good work, with your 21st century innovative approaches. Mrs. Summerville you ROCK!
e a comment...

justicefor all HUMANS said:

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Question for Montie, if you were starving to death in the middle of nowhere and the only substance you had was a dog, you would just die! Excuse my profuse language but FUCK THAT! It's a dog. God said mankind as in human is to have sovereignty over the Earth including the animals in it. Sorry to get biblical, but seriously he has paid his debt so get over yourselves. People eat meat, I do and don't feel a bit sorry for it. You are just saying a dog's life is worth more than a humans. Now who is the savage?

Message from Montie said:

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The next time you decide you want to curse me out and talk to me like I won't come back that hard at you, rethink that plan. First of all, when you ask a question, WAIT for the answer. Don't declare MY answer. If I was starving to death in the middle of nowhere, I'd wonder how in the world the dog GOT there to begin with. When you hear about communities with starvation issues, I don't usually hear about Fido just walking around chilling, so your example isn't really credible. As far as eating animals, here's what I do not understand about human beings. Some of you get so upset with people who don't eat meat; meanwhile the people who don't eat meat sincerely couldn't give a damn whether you do. I haven't eaten meat in 7 years, and you eating it hasn't stopped my day. If you stopped eating it tomorrow, cool, but please believe that your "biblical" reference isn't going to make me change my mind. The fact that you're so defensive about eating meat makes me wonder is it out of guilt or pleasure in eating meat? Now, should you want to actually discuss what's IN this blog about animal cruelty, feel free. Otherwise, please stop wasting my time cursing and not making a bit of a sense. Thanks.

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