I was horrified to watch as these dogs were forced to fight each other for the entertainment and profit of their owners! And if the dog lost, it was killed. Not humanly euthanized. KILLED. Some were hung from trees, others beaten to death, others left to die from the injuries they experienced in the fighting ring. Hell, if a grown man want to put on gloves and get into the ring in order to beat the living shit out of another other so that they can be punch-drunk later in life: more power to him. He knows what he is getting into and the risks involved. These dogs fought - not because they are solely bred to be mean, but because they have an inherent need to PLEASE their owners! You could actually hear the owners saying "Good Boy/Good Girl" to their dogs on the videos.
Now, I know Pit Bulls* are scary looking dogs. Often fighting dog owners crop the dog's ears and bulk up the dog in order to have a meaner looking animal. Fighting dogs endure months, even years of abuse in the name of "training" in order to make them vicious. At times, I did not know which was worse: the fighting videos or the videos of the training and captivity of the dogs. The breeds of dogs used in these fights have been given (and some have earned) a reputation as being aggressive. I know that people have died from attacks by pit bulls, rottweillers and wolf hybrid breeds. I am not saying that doesn't happen. Personally, I blame careless breeders and owners who line-breed or trait-breed in order to create more aggressive fighting dogs. What the hell are these people thinking? I can't find a single reason WHY this sport made it out of the colosseum and into modern day culture.
There are those who say the breeds should be banned. That it is in their nature to be aggressive. I don't believe that, especially after watching what happened to these dogs after they were confiscated. I can't advocate the extermination of a species based on a few "bad apples". That argument didn't work for the Eugenics movement or The Nazis and I don't think it holds water for taking out a dog breed. But that is not the point of this blog.
What amazed me about the dogs involved in the Michael (rot in hell you scum sucking pig) Vick case was that with the exception of two of the dogs, who had to be euthanized for health reasons, ALL of the dogs were rehabilitated and placed in homes or rescue agencies!!! One even works as a therapy dog with the elderly! I was moved to tears by the sight of dogs who were once trained to fight to the death, giving unconditional love to another human being. Puppies and adult dogs playing, fetching balls, running with their new owners, and giving kisses in return for good belly rubs like normal companion pets. I found it interesting that a soul with every reason to HATE based on the inhumane treatment it had experienced until that time in its life, could learn to forgive and love those very creatures who had shown it no mercy.
Ms. Tastrophie has to wonder about the world in which she lives. Apparently we are not as evolved as we would like to think we are. If we have learned to hate one another based on a skin color, job description, or religious affiliation, how can we claim to be above one who can't even hold a fork? Yeah, I am being a hypocrite by saying I hope Michael Vick gets @$$-pounded in prison for his part in all this and I know that some will never think that the breed is redeemable, no matter what anyone says. For me, watching those dogs find a new leash in life was enough to restore some of my faith in man-kind (even a very little for Michael Vick ~ who really does deserve to rot in some level of hell).
So my thought is this: Who knew that the key to man-kind's redemption could be found in the heart of a once trained killer?
*The pit bull is a type of dog bred for fighting, not a specific breed. Responsibly bred and owned, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier -- often referred to as pit bulls -- are not fighting dogs.