Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2013

Hammering Out Dog Fighting

fighterHammering Out Dog Fighting

by Gayle Pruitt, CN

Dog Fighting and other animal abuse spectacles for human recreation can be traced as far back as 43 AD, when the Romans invaded Britain. The Brits had courageous, ferocious, fighting dogs that the Romans took back to Italy to breed with their canines. They used these brave animals as gladiator dogs to amuse the crowds.

Dog fighting today is for the gambler, gun-runner, and the “run of the mill” sociopath. Dog fighting organizations go from the huge gun dealing rings to the local “my dog can beat your dog” fight on the street. In either case, animals are abused, tortured, and killed. Some big name players in the NFL have been associated with Dog Fighting. Take Dallas Cowboy, Nate Newton. He was arrested in 1991 at a Texas dog fight, but charges were dropped because he was “just watching”. LeShon Johnson, Former NFL running back, who played for the Green Bay Packers, the Arizona Cardinals, and the New York Giants, received a deferred five-year sentence in 2005. Two hundred dogs were seized. And we can’t forget Ex-Atlanta Falcons Quarterback, Michael Vick! According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund: The Michael Vick case illustrates many attributes common to the dozens of organized dog fighting cases that the Animal Legal Defense Fund has seen over the years:

  • The clandestine operation went undetected until law enforcement discovered it while investigating another crime.
  • The dogfighting activity was violent and bloody.
  • Dogs were methodically tested and poor performers were executed.
  • Illegal gambling was a major part of the operation.
  • Shelters housing the seized dogs had to implement high security precautions.

doganfighterBut now there are real, modern-day Gladiators that have decided to take on animal abuse; these are the MMA (Mixed, Martial Arts), Cage Fighters. One of those fighters is Pat Russo , a U.S. Air Force Military Police Veteran, and at age 33, is an 11-year veteran of the MMA Sport. He is now a State Trooper in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Being a State Trooper and a former police officer, he has seen too much domestic and animal abuse. He says…”I chose to fight but the dogs don’t“. Pat is a big, tough guy, but has a soft side too. Pat has rescued three dogs who now live with him. His dogs are Abigail, a Rottweiler Mix, Rocky, a Rottweiler-Beagle Mix, and Stormy, a Pit Bull Mix. But his first rescue was a kitten he found in a garbage dump. He bottle-fed the kitten he named Spud. Spud was his best buddy for a long time. A dog named Gremlin, that had been used as a bait dog, was the catalyst for Russo to “Hammer out Animal Cruelty”. Gremlin’s back legs had been deliberately broken and she couldn’t bark. A baseball bat had been forced down her throat. But Gremlin was rescued by “Rowdy to the Rescue”. Because of this wonderful act, Gremlin received great veterinary/medical attention, and has been rehabilitated. She can now walk and play, and has a loving, “forever” home with Former Champion Power Lifter, Chris Hughes . Gremlin still is unable to bark, but she is happyand the best part is that Gremlin is now a therapy dog for the elderly and for children.

Fight Me Michael Vick!”

(From the Editor-In-Chief of Nutricula, Dr. Bob Berger; “My comment here is that the phrase above is so appropriatetough, real men, MMA fighters vs atough guy “want-to-be” QBthiswould be something to see for sure!My money would be on the MMA guys, hands down. Guys like Vick and Co. are only tough when it comes to showing their power over defenseless animals!) Gremlin was the inspiration (used by the cage fighting sport), to bring awareness to the evils of dog fighting and animal cruelty. Pat wanted to acknowledge his coaches, the staff, and his training partners at Wilkie’s Mixed Martial Arts and Hammer Training and Fitness. Gordon Shell is a former MMA Cage Fighter. Gordon doesn’t fight anymore because of a heart condition. But his heart is in the right place. He is raising money for a Dog Fighting Documentary on Indiegogo. Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding platform for raising money. The link is; This is a great cause.

According to HSUS Animal fighting facts

  • Spectators pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in admission fees and gambling bets, generating the bulk of the revenue for this illegal enterprise. These fights would not occur without the crowd betting on the outcome and enjoying the bloodletting.
  • Spectators provide cover for animal fighters who weave into crowds to evade prosecution at the first sign of a police raid.
  • Often spectators are themselves participants in animal fights, waiting their turn at a typical organized animal fight, with several rounds during an event or derby. When police raid an animal fight, it is extremely difficult to differentiate between spectators and participants who were going to fight their dog or bird in the next match.
  • Cockfighting has been linked to the death of a number of people in Asia from bird flu and to an outbreak of a poultry disease that costs U.S. taxpayers more than $200 million to contain.
  • Animal fighting is also closely associated with other criminal activities such as gangs, narcotics, illegal weapons possession, public corruption, and various violent crimes. A three-year study by the Chicago Police Department found that 70% of animal offenders had also been arrested for other felonies, including domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug trafficking, and even sex crimes.

Dog fighting itself, has been around for a long time. There has been too much pain, suffering, fear, and death for something so insignificant as entertainmentthis horrible act of cruelty against our “Best Friends” must be stopped, and the abusers must be severely punished by heavy fines and long-term imprisonment. Now people in every walk of life have decided not to tolerate this Blood Sport any longer.

“Fight Me Michael Vick!”

We now need to honor the good, true, tough guys of this world, the volunteers at shelters, and the people that run the police and DA’s offices around the country who are cracking down on animal abuse. We can’t forget about the adoptive dog parents that adopt dogs from shelters and/or rescue organizations. There are animal behavioral experts that take the seized dogs from dog fighting organizations and give them medical attention, and rehabilitate and train them for important work. Because of these people, the dogs now have a great job helping the disabled, children in need , and veterans in many different capacities.

So Let’s Give Pat Russo and all his friends at the MMA a big THANK YOU!!!!

And help them “Hammer out Animal Cruelty”

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