Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #27 -- Dog Fighting

Thirteen Things about DOG FIGHTING

Dog fighting is a tragedy and we each must do our part to stop it. It’s not “just” cruelty to animals. Dog fighting has a negative impact that goes far beyond “just” the damage to those poor dogs.

Here are 13 statements about dog fighting that I hope will inspire you to do something – anything, large or small – to help eradicate it.

Dog fighting in your community

1. Dog fighting increases dog attacks. Dogs that are trained to fight are notoriously hard to control and contain. This leads to innocent children suffering serious bites when a fighting dog escapes.

2. There’s a connection between dog fighting and gangs. People who fight animals are often involved with gangs and illegal activities. This means that, along with a blood sport, gambling, drugs and weapons are introduced into your town.

3. It’s more prevalent than we think. Or at least than I want to believe. According to the Anti-Cruelty Society, 1 in 6 Chicago schoolchildren have attended a dog fight.

4. It’s a danger to your pets. It’s a painful and horrifying thought, but cats, rabbits and smaller, docile dogs are stolen and used as bait to train fighters.

5. Dog fighting leads to disease and filth. People who fight animals do not want their dogs to be happy and healthy. A fighter is more effective if he’s aggressive and unhappy. Therefore they don’t provide the same comfortable environment for their dogs that petowners provide their companion animals. Urine, feces, spoiled food and carcasses can make these kennels a breeding ground for disease and a haven for vermin.

6. Fighters seldom become pets. These dogs are so battered, so ill from malnutrition, that they are simply too dangerous to be adopted.

7. Pit bulls are being demonized. In order to reduce dog bites and animals attacks, some communities have entertained “breed-specific legislation” that bans anyone from owning a pit bull. The problem is not the dog, it’s the inhumane asshole that torments and trains the dog to fight.

Protect yourself and your neighborhood

8. Abandoned houses and garages are often used as illegal kennels and fighting dens. If you suddenly hear loud music (often used to cover the barking and howling) or notice unpleasant odors emanating from a building you thought was empty, notify the authorities.

9. Report animal cruelty. Remember, people who use dogs as fighters or as bait don’t love them. And cruelty to animals is against the law. So if you see a dog tethered all day, or yelled at and yanked and hit excessively during a walk, let the police know.

10. Keep your dog on a leash. It’s easier to protect your dog from an encounter with a fighter if your dog is leashed.

11. Keep your cat indoors. When your cat is sitting on a windowsill, watching the world go by, you don’t have to worry about her being used as bait to teach a dog to kill.

12. Teach children to be respectful of dogs they don’t know.

13. Get involved! It’s a big problem, but there are things you can do to make a difference! Much of this information comes from Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society, the ASPCA and the HSUS. These organizations provide strong voices for dogs and against this hideous bloodsport, and could use your financial support. Consider asking local law enforcement and your neighborhood animal shelter to discuss this problem in churches, schools and other gatherings. Information and action are power!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Jennie Boo refers us to 13 of her blogging buddies (I've visited some of these blogs and they are very good)
2. Damozel revisits the best of HL Mencken
3. Candy Minx says she has the worst album covers, and she doesn't lie!
4. Help Nancy out by visiting her TT and taking a food quiz
5. Suprina shares her favorite board games (like Boggle)
6. Sue's TT is about a subject she is an expert on
7. Lori shares helpful home remedies
8. Nicholas introduces us to 13 men better known by their middle names
9. Visit Susan for a verbal snapshot of the typical Shapeshifter fan
10. MamaLee's TT is hysterical -- sick, but hysterical
11. Joyful Days applies what she's learned from Harry Potter
12. Crimson Wife tells us what NOT to get her for Christmas
13. L-squared shares some 13 random thoughts -- and an adorable puppy photo
14. Malcolm takes us along down memory lane for his favorite concerts and live performances
15. Marina shares what's on her desk right now
16. Jane's TT is verbal and witty
17. Dog-loving Terra has her iPod on for us
18. Robin's TT is filled with adventures planned for her & her daughter
19. Impworks takes us time traveling
20. Ed's Thread is his favorite old TV shows
21. Qtpies shares some of the delicacies kids have consumed
22. Like Oprah, Sparky Duck loves the color purple
23. Amy shares her many emotions and moods
24. Practical Chick returns to the TT with a fun list
24. Nancy's TT is about the month of August
25. Kelly shines the light on a problem she and I share: overindulging in retail therapy
26. Lara reminds us how our favorite TV series ended
27. Enter Nicole's lair and see what's in her TBR pile

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

He saw his service as an honor and a duty. They saw his sacrifice as a PR opportunity.

Pat Tillman was a loyal guy. Once he got into the NFL, he turned down a multi-million contract to stay with the team that originally signed him, the Cardinals. Then, after 9/11, he left Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army. Not only was that a most definite pay cut, he knew he would be missing his highest money-making years as a football player to serve his country when his country needed him.

He was killed in Afghanistan early on, back in 2004. He was only 27.

Tillman's funeral was a well-attended media event. Maria Shriver, representing her husband, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was one of the speakers. Pat Tillman received the hero's send off he richly deserved.

At first the public, and worst of all, his family, were told he was killed in battle and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. That was a conscious lie. Generals knew he was killed, at close range, by friendly fire. His body armor and uniform were burned to destroy evidence of the horrible accident.

This administration was running the war badly and could not endure the shame of letting us know that their poster boy, Pat Tillman, had been killed by one of his own. So they lied. Just another lie that accompanied the lead up to and execution of this war.

Now, all these years later, hearings are being held and all those who loved Pat Tillman are finally learning the truth.

Pat Tillman was a hero the moment he enlisted. The details of his death do not diminish his intent to serve or the extent of his family's sacrifice. He was a patriot who deserves to be honored, and remember honestly, despite the dishonorable and dishonest behavior surrounding his death.

Exciting baseball

The Cubs won. So did the Brewers. Both teams came from behind. We remain a full game behind Milwaukee.

I could say that as long as the games are this good, it doesn't matter if we overtake the Brewers for sole possession of first. Of course, if I said that I'd be lying. I want this so, so, soso much.

But when you compare last year's race (which we were so far out of by now) and the performance of last year's Cubs (who, I say with affection, were lousy) I know I'm going ot enjoy a lot of exciting baseball through season's end.

And ... dare I dream it? ... beyond.