Dogfighting is something that just makes me very sad, and makes me feel sick. I don't even have a good comparison point, to help explain my disgust to other people. Maybe the child soldiers in Africa, who are kidnapped from their families, drugged up, and given guns? Children are not dogs, I know that, but neither should have to fight each other because humans say so.
In New York State, for example, dog fighting is a felony. You can go to jail for up to 4 years, and be fined $25,000. If you're a spectator at a dog fight, well, that's a misdemeanor, with a maximum of 1 year in jail, max fine of $1000. Still kind of hurts, doesn't it? And that hurts a human wallet and human freedom; it doesn't really scratch the surface of what the dog's situation is. Living chained up somewhere, or in a cage. Being thrown into a 'ring' in an unfamiliar place and having to fight for life itself. State dog fighting laws can be found here, on the Humane Society of the United States web site. Further, here is a flyer on how to recognize dog fighting in your area. It seems like some of the things are very obvious, but I guess dog fighting isn't subtle.
Some dogs are good at it, I don't doubt. Some dogs are dog-aggressive, and when that particular bit of genetics gets bred in enough, and then encouraged and trained, some dogs must live for tearing into each other. Does that mean they should do it so their owners can gamble on them? No, I don't really think so.
Now, Michael Vick has been campaigning against dog fighting. Here's the rundown, if you don't know who that is. I'm glad that he's using his notoriety and fame to do such a thing; going to congress, going to schools to talk to kids, that kind of thing. Apparently it was Vick and his people who reached out to the HSUS to accomplish this, too, not the other way around. Now, I don't know Vick. Not personally; and I really have only read a few interviews. I read The Lost Dogs. Those few bits of information put together do make me think that he's sorry; sorry that he got caught. And when he talks about talking to youths, he talks about how he doesn't want them to go to jail like he did, not necessarily how he doesn't want them to kill dogs for fun. But, be that as it may, he can do some good work, being who he is, and I do hope good things get accomplished.
I'm very lucky in that I don't think there is any dog fighting in my area. Not right here in town, anyway (duh). The pit type dogs I see always look like happy lovers, who are well taken care of by their owners, bright eyed and unscarred. Web sites like StopDogFighting.net have a lot of good information about what goes on, what to look for, and what kinds of equipment, drugs, and supplements would be on site in that kind of a situation.
So wow, between puppy mills and dog fighting, you really want to hear about some positive dog ownership! At least, I know I do.