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Petplace Pet Owners Speak Out on Dog Fighting!

By: Petplace Staff

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Recently, the columnist known as the Irreverent Veterinarian wrote a commentary on dog fighting. As part of the commentary, a short survey about dog fighting questions was included.

The responses were as follows.

Question 1. Do you think dog fighting should be illegal?

93% of responders said Yes, dog fighting should be illegal, 6.6% said no, it would be legal. 0.3% said they were not sure and 2.6% had other comments.

Question 2. Do you think the penalty for dog fighting is too harsh or too soft? (Fines up to $250,000 and three-year prison term)

75.2% of responders said the penalty for dog fighting is too soft, 23% believe these fines are just right and 2.1% believe the penalty is too harsh.

Question 3. Do you think dog fighting breed dogs (pitbull, presa canario, dogo argentino, etc) are mean?

43.6 % say no, 15.7% say yes, 16.9% said no, not all but most of them can be mean and 29.4 selected "other". Their responses suggested that not all but there was plenty of mean ones to make you weary of all of them.

Question 4. Should owning a fighting breed be banned? (Should it be illegal to own them?)

65.8% said no, 15.6% said yes and 19.2 % of responders said they were not sure.

Question 5. What do you think of the "press" Michael Vick has been getting?

97.2 % think the press he has gotten has been appropriate and 2.9% believe the press is making a big deal of it.

Question 6. What do you think should happen to Michael Vick if he is guilty?

94% believe Michael Vick should get the maximum penalty if guilty, 4.5% are not sure, and 1.5% indicated that he should get the minimum penalty.

Question 7. Do you have any comments other comments about dog fighting?

Some of the comments were quite interesting and we will share them with you. We got thousands of emails and below are a few.

Comments about dog fighting:

1.        I think people need to stand in the event of animals being mistreated and abused. Dog fighting is WRONG in God's eyes and mine! It's inhumane and cruel.

2.        I wish to do something to stop it. Donating money and making people aware of this doesn't seem enough. Any suggestions? I am a pitbull owner myself and there are many in my apartment complex since this is the only place that allows them. Luckily I have never seen any signs of abuse or fighting...all the pitbulls seem in good shape, good health and happy. My dog is the sweetest thing and I wish people could understand that people make dogs mean not the breed itself is just born aggressive. I will post this pit bull history article on myspace for awareness!

3.        The allegations against Vick go way beyond just dog fighting. Executing losing dogs by drowning, strangulation, an electrocution is perverse. Also, they say he's a 'kingpin' financing the operation, etc. If these allegations prove to be true, he will deserve whatever the max penalty is.

4.        I am so disgusted that any human would consider dog fighting anything but cruel behavior, and it surely cannot be considered a sport!!! It is so unfair that many dogs have been trained to be vicious just like the Dobermans or rottweilers, which are really very intelligent, smart and loving dogs. May Our Creator forgive humans who intentionally bring harm to any other living creature, for like it or not we are all related.

5.        Some breeds may have a higher probability of being aggressive, but I think most of it boils down to how they are raised. There are always ones that fall outside the norm either way of any breed of any animal. And I think Mr. Vick being a professional athlete that young people look up to deserves all the bad press they can dish out.

6.        This may sound harsh, but I wish people who think there is nothing wrong with dogfighting could be dumped in a pit with a couple of the dogs they have mistreated, and see what it is like to be torn up, with no way to get out of the ring. It makes me sick--they have given these so-called "fighting breed" dogs a bad name, and if they had been treated right, they would make someone an excellent companion. One of the smartest dogs I have ever met was a pit bull, and Petey didn't have a mean bone in his body--I despair to think of how many "Peteys" have been exposed to this vicious practice.

7.        Given who he is, the fact that he is a "role model" for young men, and that he conducted dog fighting events on his property, he should be prosecuted to the max and should be excluded permanently from professional football.

8.        Your survey has a push bias: "do you think dog fighting breeds are mean?" This is an unfair representation of traits in dogs such as loyalty or the desire to serve the master that is manipulated in support of aggressive behavior.

9.        I think dog fighting is very cruel and the people who engage in it, including Michael Vick, should be given the maximum penalty in all cases. The dogs cannot speak for themselves; we must do so.

10.        I owned a pitbull until last year when we had to put her down because she had cancer. She was the biggest baby ever. I could not imagine EVER putting her in harms way to intentionally get hurt. I think it is illegal and I think anybody who is caught should get the maximum penalty there is and even then I'm sure it isn't enough.

11.        The Pitbull, Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, among many other dog breeds, have been abused and conditioned to fight for centuries. Dog fighting for any reason (amusement and/or profit) is immoral and should be considered a felony in ALL states. Harsher penalties for dog fighting and animal abuse will most certainly make an impact on those abusers.

12.        It's barbaric and cowardly to put innocent animals up to sport for entertainment.

13.        Michael Vick should be never able to play in the NFL, in jail for more than 3 years, and fined. i am so against this its not even funny.

14.        I think it is very cruel to pit dogs together and even worst to breed them for it because it gives the entire breed a bad reputation. Our state is trying to pass a law to make it illegal to own pit bulls. If it gets passed, then owners will have to destroy their pets...many of which are very good animals. There are a lot of pit bulls in my town and every one I have met are real nice, mellow dogs. My neighbor has one of the nicest Staffordshire Terriers I have ever met-friendly to both people and other animals but people are so freaked out over the breed there are lots of people that are complaining about the dog, especially the lady next to me. She tried to have animal control take the dog because the dog looked at her Shih Tzu. Her Shih Tzu is a nasty little dog that attacks anything it isn't just a territorial issue with the nasty dog either...if it runs out the door or manages to slip out of it's collar, it will go attack somebody walking on the sidewalk a block away, completely unprovoked. I don't see anything wrong with the press attention on Michael Vick either - he did something very stupid and petty and now he has to deal with the consequences of his actions...of course, it appears he doesn't understand that is what is going on; he seems to be blaming everyone but himself for the mess he created...everyone from the people living at his house were fighting the dogs behind his back to "everybody is picking on me because I'm black". No dude, people are picking on you because you are a moron who decided to capitalize on creating pain and suffering.

15.        Dog fighting for entertainment is wrong in all areas. The dog who loses, suffers and sometimes even lose their lives. How can such a barbaric thing be considered a sport?

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