When my parents and I moved to our present home, on the near east side of Columbus, there was a place off the alley across the street that was notorious as a dog-fighting site. I guess humans like to watch dogs rip into each other, or they make a lot of money betting on it. Both are beyond my comprehension. Not that I am an actual fan of dogs (they've tried to chase me in the park a few times, but Daddy fended them off with a large walking stick) but I don't think it's right to pit pit bulls, or any other kind of dog, against each other to the death. Not for anybody's amusement or profit!

Coming up March 22-26 is a national Spay-Neuter Week, to encourage people to get their cats and dogs fixed. One of the reasons this is important, especially for strays, is so there aren't lots more dogs out there to be stolen and used as fodder for fights. I was fixed a long time ago, it's not so bad. I can't really remember the details. Anyway, there's been some recent actions by an Ohio Dog Fighting Task Force I'm told, that are trying to eliminate this "bloodsport" in our fine state. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is trying to get law enforcement to crack down on dog fighters and raise the criminal penalty for it, too.

Some tips for preventing dog fighting were printed in Animal People, one of my favorite publications. Mainly you should watch for signs of the activity:

* Multiple pit bulls in one yard

* Pit bulls with short, cropped ears

* Dogs with scars on head, throat, legs and ears

* Dogs wearing 2-inch-wide collars

* Tires or pieces of leather suspended several feet off the ground from trees, used to exercise dogs

* Treadmills for exercising dogs

* Locked privacy fences

* Dogs leashed with heavy chains to metal posts in the ground

* Dogs being moved from a house frequently in cages

* Dogs and people coming and going frequently from a site

* Dogs forced to pull heavy items such as chains and tire rims to strengthen muscles S

ources: Toledo Humane Society From Animal People: "News For People Who Care About Animals" May 2002, Volume XI, #4

Also, never leave your dog outside while you're gone, tied up or not, unless it is totally secure. Most dogs used in fights are stolen, though some are taken from people who use ads like "Free to a Good Home"

Don't forget Spay-Neuter Week! It's cheap and only takes one day.

Peace Snout!

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