Recently, the PetPlace.com 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 can…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?
16. He’s rude dogs have feelings to!!!!
17. Anyone caught doing any kind of cruelty to animals should get what he deserves. These people need to get a new hobby!!!! They should be punished to the full extent of the law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
18. Would love to see him in a cage with a vicious dog.
19. A celebrity that has done something illegal should get the maximum penalty. As public figures, they set examples for the general public- not just children.
20. Anyone who participates in any way in mutilating dogs for “fun” should be thrown in jail. On second thought why don’t we let their “well trained” animals tear them to pieces? Now that would be fun.
21. My gut feeling is to have the guilty attacked by their own dogs. Of course that is not a good idea, but I do believe that there is no punishment strong enough to satisfy me. This is a disgusting, pathetic, sad, mean, upsetting action taken by these people, and I truly feel terrible for all dogs involved.
22. I believe dog fighting is disgusting and Michael Vick is getting his just reward. He should get the maximum penalty!!!!
23. I think because he is a celebrity as usual he will be able to buy his way out of punishment. But I hope he gets the maximum penalty to make him an example. What he did to mans best friend is despicable.
24. Dogs are completely dependent on people for compassion and care. They have no self determination at all, so the idea that the coverage of the abuse of these animals is “getting too much attention” is horrifying to say the least.
25. I hate that people make these beautiful dogs fight. These are the people that give pits a bad name.
26. Dog fighting is a grossly inhumane activity. Nobody has the right to subject other living beings to such cruelty, especially for such a trivial ‘reason’ as entertainment. I think it likely that people who engage in such activities are mentally or emotionally disturbed. In fact, evidence shows that this type of animal abuse is often a precursor to abuse directed toward human subjects.
27. I think because there is so much money involved dog fighting issues aren’t looked into as much as they should be. I would like to see this get a LOT MORE attention. Sadly, it takes a high profile person’s involvement for it to make the headlines once again…..
28. I think they should ban the deed but not necessarily the breed. I know a lot of pitbull owners and own pitbulls myself and education is the key. Don’t buy a dog of any breed until you have done your homework ( temperament, aggression etc.) to persecute a whole breed/s for their owners actions would be immoral and wrong.
29. If Michael Vick had anything to do with dogfighting in anyway I believe he should be punished. Anyone who is involved with any kind of cruel, mean and vicious acts towards any animal should be punished. As for the press attention that Michael Vick is getting I don’t think it is enough. The press should be making sure that everyone knows and understands what this man has done. Maybe if everyone knew that the they would be broadcasted all over the world and not just for a few days but for months other people might think twice about doing anything mean and cruel to animals. This is just my personal view on this matter.
30. It is incomprehensible! The sheer savagery of this leads me to believe the people involved with this activity are severely disturbed, and are a Danger to Society. Lock them Up. Unfortunately, they will be released far too soon. This activity has unfairly cast a shadow of doubt on these Dog Breeds, leaving people to question whether or not they are safe to have around. We all know these are behaviors which were forced on these dogs in a very sadistic manner. I pray for all the dogs that are still being forced into this and hope we as a society can come to their rescue. Michael Vick is just the beginning.
36. There’s a difference between idiots staging a fight between dogs on a sporadic basis and people who ought to know better making a profitable business out of cruelty — institutionalizing cruelty. That’s why Vick and his associates should receive a harsh penalty.
37. Frankly, even the maximum penalty allowed by law is not enough. There are too many others who get away with this type of “entertainment.” Perhaps if they made an example of him (as they do with other people who break other laws, i.e. DUI/DWI many states are now imposing some pretty stiff penalties and they mean to get drunk drivers off the road), this would wake some people up to (1) quit running these dog fights; (2) never start; or (3) have other report them. The only way to stop this behavior is to increase the penalties (severe prison time)because most people who participate or run these dog fights are usually not too bright and about the only thing that means anything to these people is money out of their pocket or prison time. They don’t care about the animals’ one iota.
38. They need to look for more of this, and be extremely stiff with the freaks.
39. As an animal lover I feel that any type of abuse given to animals is just plain disgusting, and it makes me sick to my stomach. As for Michael Vick if found guilty, not only should he be given the max penalty, his name should be completely dropped from the list that he ever played professional football. He would be then marked a disgrace to the entire sport…….
40. I think they need to look at what the PEOPLE are doing to create this aggressive K9. The breed itself is not mean or aggressive but if a human teaches them to be that way, they will do so. I raise boxers and have had issues of some being dog aggressive. If one of my breeders have this aggressive trait, I will spay or neuter them and place the in a single dog home. I have seen what can happen to my own beloved babies when they have been in a fight and it is not pleasent nor do they feel good after. Almost any breed can produce an aggressive natured offspring. It is how you raise them and train them as to what you get out of them.
41. I feel that getting pleasure from watching two dogs fight until one is dead is awful.
42. Animals may not be people but they deserve respect. Anyone who enjoys this sport is sick.
43. I don’t think because he has status of money and fame should lesson his penalty. If he is found guilty he should pay like any average person out there that would commit a crime like this and be charged to the FULLEST extent of the law.
44. A lovable pit bull owned by friends is the reason we finally decided to get a dog of our own (though we chose another breed). The dogs are not at fault. An individual dog of any breed that is too aggressive may need to be humanely put down if he can’t be trained. But there are many well loved family pets of these “fighting breeds” who are no more aggressive than the average dog. I just hope that families looking for this kind of dog will check out the many fine shelters and rescue organizations out there. Puppy mill breeders don’t care who they sell too and, if there is no market for a breed, market forces will put them out of business faster than any law. BTW, when they finally met, the six-year-old Shih Tzu we adopted let that pit bull know that he was not to be trifled with! 🙂
45. I despise everything about any kind of abuse and torture of any animal. This breaks my heart, as an animal lover and a human being. I believe anyone who participates, either actively or as a spectator, etc. has lost any kind of soul they might have had. No one should be tried via the press, however, the evidence in M. Vick’s case is pretty damning! He’s just the tip of the iceberg and if he never does another thing to help anyone, at least his high profile case has brought the ugliness of dog-fighting out into the open. He, and all those who might be guilty along with him, need to suffer the most severe consequences. When this case first came to light several months back, there were some other ball players who felt sympathy for Vick. After all they said, these were “just dogs”! Your article on dog fighting pretty much says it all! Thank you for caring.
46. I think dog fighting is cruel and should be stopped. The dog has no options here, the dog is MADE to do this, and if they don’t do well enough they will die. People are breeding dogs such as pitbulls and training them for NO OTHER REASON than to watch it attempt to tear another dog apart, and they are hoping to make money off of it. These people are no better than pimps, they are reaping to rewards of someone, or something, elses work and if that person or dog has to lose their life so that the owner, or pimp, can be richer then oh well, that is OK with them. Try putting the dog owners, trainers etc. into that little fighting pit and tell them that they can come out until one of them is dead, and let them come up with a reason why they shouldn’t have to do what they expect their dogs to do for them.
47. What I find very hard to understand is why someone with so much wealth would wish to participate in these types of activities. It would be less infuriating if he had done it because he was poor and desperate. But here’s a guy who has everything he needs and who is supposed to be a role model…it’s despicable. I say they should make an example out of him.
48. Dog fighting is illegal, if you do the crime you should do the time. Illegal means illegal. Enough said!!!!
49. It is unfortunate that there are hundreds of thousands of children in this country that are treated just as bad or even worse than the dogs mentioned without getting as much press – HOWEVER – treating any living thing the way these sick people do – children or dogs – deserves all the media attention and strictest penalties!
50. These owners should join boxing if their interested in fighting NOT subject these innocent dogs to such severe abuse. Not just the fighting but the way their dogs are raised & mistreated is also the problem. The Pitbull just wants to please his owner so unfortunately they will kill if instructed. Anyone abusing these precious animals by forcing them to fight should suffer the maximum penalty & never allowed to own animals. I own a female Pitbull & she has been trained to be gentle & she is smothered with love. In return she has become my best friend & so loyal that she naturally wants to protect me & please me. At the same time, her vicious side was evident as a puppy & would have developed if in the wrong hands, that’s why it’s so important that there be strict rules for owners. Sincerely DEB
Do you believe in dog fighting? Take our survey and share your comments.