Activism pitbull and puppy

Published on February 24th, 2009 | by Marika Collins

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HSUS Reconsiders Condemning Dogs Seized From Fighting Rings

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February 24th, 2009 by


The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has issued an interim policy regarding dogs victimized by dog fighting. The policy recommends that dogs be evaluated on an individual basis rather than being condemned to euthanization as a group.

The HSUS was widely criticized in recent weeks for supporting a court ruling that ordered 145 pit bulls destroyed after they were confiscated from Wildside Kennels in Wilkes County North Carolina. The dogs, which included approximately 70 puppies, were euthanized earlier this month.

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According to Best Friends Animal Society, the HSUS has called a meeting of leading animal welfare organizations specifically aimed at dealing with dogs victimized by dog fighting.

The meeting, set to take place in April, was called in response to concerns raised by Best Friends regarding HSUS policies on how dogs that have been confiscated from fighting situations are dealt with.

Best Friends Animal Society loudly lamented the HSUS decision that supported the mass euthanization in the North Carolina case. They, along with several other animal welfare organizations, stepped in to save and successfully rehabilitate the majority of dogs involved in the infamous Michael Vick dog fighting case. According to Animal Planet, Vick and three others were indicted on felony charges for dog fighting activity in July, 2007.  Charges included, “breeding and training fighting dogs, hosting dogfights, killing dogs considered unable to fight and traveling out of state for dog fights.”

Best Friends is currently running its campaign, Pit Bulls: Saving America’s Dogs, in an effort to educate the public about pit bulls and help save the breed’s reputation. The decision to euthanize the dogs seized in the North Carolina case is considered by Best Friends to be largely based on breed prejudice.

Hopefully good things will come out of the April meeting called by the HSUS: mainly the willingness to give these dogs a chance where before they had none. Let’s punish the people behind the crime, not the animals who are innocent victims.

Image credit: coral11 at flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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About the Author

Marika Collins is a writer, editor, and photographer who cares deeply about animal rights, social justice and the environment. She's a gadget freak and camera aficionado with a book collecting addiction and a mean sweet tooth. Has pen, will travel.



  • http://www.canine-world.com MoeH

    tofupup is correct, and yorkies aren’t bred to fight.

  • http://www.siteluck.com/tag/computer computer trouble

    This makes great sense!

  • http://www.wandgestaltung-wandtattoos.com/ wandgestaltung

    You could not be more right on

  • michelle

    I love pitbulls they are my favorite breed and my father breeds them there so bute because she just hae a new litter (cutecutecute)
    there only 2 weeks old and starting opening up there eyes ^^

    I think its the owners fault for making any animals agressove because none of the dogs we raise turn out bad becasue we socialise them before we sell them so they wont attack anything (maybe flies but thats it)

  • Jamie Coleman

    tofupup, your full of BS, not to long ago I went with my Wife to pick out a Yorkie and the whole freaken liter was fighting with each other, so I guess they should have been put down??????

  • MARSHA WALTERS

    SOME PEOPLE ARE SUCH SHEEP, BUT WITH THE MEDIA BLOWING EVERY PIT BULL (OR ANYTHING EVEN RESEMBLING A BULLDOG TYPE)INCIDENT WAAAY OUT OF PERPORTION IT DOESNT SEEM TO SURPRISE ME.
    PIT BULLS ARE A VERY STABLE BREED I’VE OWNED AT LEAST ONE AND MORE 5 FOR OVER 20 OF MY 40+ YEARS. MY FIRST PIT BULL WAS SUPPOSEDLY GAME BRED BUT WAS THE BIGGEST LAP DOG ON THE PLANET THEY JUST WANT TO LOVE AND TO BE LOVED.
    NOW I’VE ALSO HAD DALMATIONS, GERMAN SHEPPARDS, LABS, AND THE DREADED DASCHUND WHICH ALL BIT ME OR SOMEONE IN MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHILE NONE OF MY “FEARSOM, VICIOUS, BLOOD-THIRSTY” PIT BULLS HAVE DONE ANYHING MORE THAN LICK SOMEONE SOAKED

    JUDEGE THESE DOGS AS INDIVIDUALS JUST AS YOU WOULD A PERSON
    IF MY MOTHER AND FATHER WERE BOTH CONVICTED OF MURDER DOES THAT MEAN I SHOULD GET THE SAME PENALTY AS THEM

    BSL IS BASICALLY RACIAL PROFILING ON DOGS
    GIVE LIFE A CHANCE

  • petlover

    well the comments snafued before and this wound up on a nasa post, which is where I thought I was making that 9:12pm post above, argh.

    anyway, moving it over here:

    petlover said on February 26th, 2009 at 9:11 pm:

    well tofupup you can have your opinion, albeit wrong and uneducated, but don’t try to portray it as fact-based.

    The FACT is that many of the vick dogs have gone on to lead very normal pet lives and some are now extraordinary service animals.

    I wonder how you think you can speak for why anyone decided anything about the faron puppies? are you really an h$u$ ‘officer’ hiding that agenda here?

    just because you read that some pups might have been getting too aggressive with each other doesn’t mean ALL 90 or so were. it’s likely that the h$u$ made much ado about a couple of isolated incidents since that is their modus operandi.

    that’s the point here: evaluate the individuals not just the (negative media and h$u$) image. that’s how it should have been all along, not just now that the “humane” society has advocated and importuned thousands of dogs and all the major breeder’s operations destroyed in just the LAST FEW YEARS!

    your comments smack of AR hype – “real gamebred pitbulls”? lol. remember, not all labradors retreive, even those that do aren’t usually fool-proof and plenty of rat terriers would rather sit on the couch than go to ground.

    try to keep those FACTS in mind when you make these sweepingly innaccurate analogies.

  • petlover

    this comment was not meant for this topic, I have no idea how it got here, lol.

  • Native American

    Hi ya’ll
    There is a bad link somewhere because I was responding to the article on pit bulls. How my message got here among shark talk is beyond me.
    So sorry for the confusion.

  • tofupup

    Anyone who has ever worked with a real gamebred pitbull knows that their desire to attack and kill other animals is deeply ingrained; it’s in their blood. It may be temporarily suppressed but it cannot be trained out of them.

    Trying to train a gamebred pitbull to not fight is like trying to train a Labrador retriever to not retrieve or a rat terrier not to go after rats or a Portugese water dog not to swim. It’s pure folly.

    The puppies seized from the Faron bust were already fighting each other in the shelter and had to be separated from each other. This is what helped lead to the decision to euthanize them.

    It’s bad for animal shelters, it’s bad for the breed and it’s bad for other animals to delude ourselves into thinking gamebred pitbulls should be packed into shelters where they will not only take up a hundred times more money and resources than non-aggressive dogs, but they’ll displace other dogs– including non-aggressive, non-gamebred pitbulls– from finding homes.

  • petlover

    how nice, the H$U$ is going to change its policy now that it’s seen to it that thousands of APBTs have been summarily killed under their direction the last couple years.

    I guess they’ve pretty much rounded up and destroyed all the major breeders’ dogs that they think they can get away with it on, so now it’ll be ok to evaluate individual animals.

    tofupup, get a clue. many of the vick dogs went to homes as pets, some are therapy and other service dogs. if you don’t want to adopt one, don’t – but don’t try to force your (knee-jerk and ignorant) views and values onto others.

  • http://www.myspace.com/harleynanabiker NanaBiker

    This is not an argument about the situations in shelters due to overpopulation/overbreeding of animals. This is an argument about the HSUS and it’s horrendous actions in leading the charge to murder these innocent animals. The situation in our shelters is also shameful, but the murder of 70 innocent PUPPIES, never mind the rest of the dogs, is the issue.

    If Best Friends and/or BadRap or others offer to rehabilitate these dogs, then what is the problem? The reason the shelters are so full of pitties is because of the ignorance of humans who continue to breed them, and then discard them. Many of those were “game-bred”, but didn’t make the cut with their attitudes or aggressiveness and those people had at least enough of a conscience to take them to a shelter, rather than to kill them on the spot as so many do.

    But this isn’t an argument about overpopulation either. It’s an argument about a practice that also helps to perpetuate the horrors of BSL around the country! Unless and until attitudes change about this breed, then shelters will continue to be overflowing with them.

    I agree that NO animals should have to be euthanized in shelters, and we should be working towards being a “no kill” country. However, there are more rescues out there for pit bulls than for any other breed. You certainly don’t see thousands of rescues that advertise “save the mutts”, the way you do with the pit bulls.

    Here again, the HSUS has talked out of both sides of their mouth, claiming to be working towards that no kill situation, and then showing up at the high-profile cases screaming “kill them all!” at every turn.

    There were 70 PUPPIES put to death in this case, some only 8 weeks old. Simply because they were the offspring of other fighting dogs, how can anyone believe it was right to kill them? Anyone will tell you that breeding alone does not a fighter make.

    If these animals can be shown to be rehabilitated and turned into loving companions, it will help literally millions of other pit bulls across the country who are doomed to death simply because they were born into that breed. It will take these high-profile cases such as the Vick dogs to change the ignorant mindset of the general public about the breed once and for all.

    The offshoot of that will be fewer of them dumped in shelters, and also fewer of them being murdered in shelters simply because of their breed. It will also help awaken the public to the truth of this wonderful breed of dog, to its attributes of loyalty, love and gentleness, and hopefully stop the tidal wave of ignorance that is causing BSL to spring up all across the country. It is a win/win for ALL pit bulls, not just the ones rescued from the monsters who were fighting them. It will educate the public to the bottom line fact…the animals become what they are trained to become, and NOT simply be automatically viscious and aggressive because they are pit bulls.

    I was disgusted by the HSUS in this case, and found it despicable that they would show up to argue to murder these precious babies, even in the face of the proven rehabilitation of the Vick dogs. They got their media face time and then slithered away, feeling justified…..until the backlash from those of us across the world who care about ALL animals rose up like a tsunami against them. NOW they decide to “reconsider”.

    Had there not been so many of us who were heartbroken over this senseless murder and shouted from every forum to express our outrage, I doubt very seriously that the HSUS would have reconsidered anything. They did, after all via their spokesman, defend themselves and their actions repeatedly…here again until the public fury would not go away, and they were finally forced to look in the mirror and see what they had done.

    I firmly believe it is only out of fear of losing the millions of dollars donated to them every year that keeps Wayne Pacelle in his triple-digit income and lifestyle that caused them to do it, however. Whatever the motives, at least maybe this madness won’t be repeated.

  • tofupup

    What I want to know is:

    1) Who’s going to pay for the evaluation and rehabilitation of these game-bred dogs and

    2) Who’s going to adopt a game-bred pitbull, when there are already millions of non gamebred pitbulls and other dogs dying in shelters every year because there’s no one to adopt them?

    Who’s going to want a game-bred pitbull…let’s think….well, there’s….ummm… oh yeah– the dogfighters. Great idea!

    And I am sure the cash-strapped animal shelters around the country who are forced to euthanize perfectly healthy, behaviorally-sound dogs and cats every day will have the cash to shell out to house and rehabilitate hundreds of fighting dogs after each bust.

    Because hey– just like the Vick dogs, I am sure all fighting dogs come with millions of dollars to rehabilitate them.

    Screw all the other non-gamebred dogs in the shelters– let’s sacrifice them all for the sake of rehabbing some neurotic fighting dogs.

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