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« Weekly Roundup - Week Ending 12/19/10 | Main | Merry Christmas from the KC Dog Blog »

December 23, 2010


John Hassell

That is very interesting. Although I feel there are a handfull of things worse than animals in blood sports sometimes you have to crack eggs.

I am sure there are many dogs rescued from fighting rings that simply cannot be rehabilitated and are going to be put down. The APBT knows one thing, winning, be it moving the computer to get in your lap, or fighting the next dog.

Am I wrong to wonder if these dogs could be used to bring down the rings so that they do not die without purpose? If I am feel free to tell me so, its just my moral dilemma.


Dying with purpose certainly sounds noble, but dying a slow, painful torturous death certainly doesn't seem like the ethical thing to do either.

I don't know all the answers on this one...and won't claim to. But am discouraged that the ASPCA opted to gloss completely over the ethics of this one...


They didn't just fight the dogs.
They abused and abandoned the dogs, inflicting far worse cruelty than just the fights.

As Donna also writes:
"To add to the sadness, many of the dogs used in this manner end up in terrible condition when they finish their "work" and most have lasting health and behavior problems related to their care and abuse that hinder them for life -- if they get a second chance, that is. In many cases, we've had to euthanize dogs from these situations after giving them compassion holds. They were that bad off."

Same way we're most angry with the Vick situation not just because he fought dogs.. but because of the sociopathic ways he behaved towards the dogs he personally tortured and kills.

I'm having a hard time seeing any difference between Vick and the HSUS staff on this.


I meant ASPCA, but of course it's true for HSUS as well...

Headlines and moneygrubbing is all these groups seem, increasingly, to care about.


Good catch Brent. This slipped under the radar while Pacelle was co-signing Vick's dog adoption application.

Bett Sundermeyer

I read about this guy awhile back and think what he did was ridiculous, unethical and unacceptable. You can't just do whatever the heck you want claiming that the ends justify the means. It does not.

If the cops were trying to bust pedophiles, would it be OK to become a pedophile just so you could be better at cathing more of them? Of course not. The ends would not justify the means.

If you want to catch drug dealers selling crack would it be OK to sell it yourself, just so you could infiltrate the drug dealers or be better at catching more of them. Of course not. The ends would not justify the means.

Why do people think it OK to become a dog fighter and torture animals just so he can allegedly be better at catching other dog fighters? The ends do NOT justify the means in this case either. Just because there are animals involved in this case, not humans, does NOT make it OK.

jennifer wood

Yet another example of why the big orgs do NOT deserve your donations. This is ethically deplorable. Inflicting suffering to diminish suffering does not work or make any sense.

Jim Crosby

Brent; As an old cop myself, I have problems with this. Yes, I have posed as a drug BUYER a bunch of times, and then used the buy to bust the bad guy. No one actually used the drugs, and although I may have observed others take drugs, I never made them. I never took the drugs. I also may have sold drugs as an undercover, but THE DRUGS NEVER LEFT MY PRESENCE. The guys were taken down just after the sale. I never put drugs on the street. Attending, and even betting on a dog fight-I see that as legitimate participation to gain credibility. Looking like you had a dog in training-OK. Actually fighting a dog and training it to fight...not so much. Like letting the drugs walk to be used or sold again. Or actually shooting someone to gain credibility as a gang banger or killer (as opposed to setting up what looks like a shooting where no one really got hurt.) I actually set up a sting for a fighter and, although we were going to let the dogs (one seized from another fighter) posture and display, no contact was to be allowed. As soon as the bad guy agreed and the preliminaries were going the bust was to go down. No actual fight.
Play acting is one thing-but to the best of my knowledge soliciting the commission of a crime is entrapment, and actually letting drugs walk-or fighting and/or killing an animal-is crossing the line.
Dog fighters need to be caught, but Law Enforcement has to follow the rules, no matter how well intentioned the result. That's what differentiates the good guys from the bad guys.


By nature no dog wants to fight, no animal wants to fight without reason, unlike man, These dog fighting rings are animal cruelty and abuse.People need to know they will go to jail and fined heavily if caught..


In this case.. 'the 'end' doesn't justify 'the means'. They cannot justify the additional abuse and killing of animals in order to catch those who are already doing it.

This is tantamount to FBI agents taking children, inflicting abuse, physical and sexual on them, then using them to lure out pedophiles, so they can arrest them.

I'm sure there are other ways, in this age of technology , that the criminals who are involved in dogfighting can be tracked down and the locked up.

Robert Garnett

The old "End justifies the means" approach is constantly used when it comes to non human animals who are not given any choice in the matter and seldom reap any benefit from enduring the means.Lab experiments,experiments by the military etc are just a few examples. If Vick had a PHD and electrocuted dogs to see if they really could feel pain he would have been given a government grant.


Jim Crosby,

Perhaps as a former policeman you may have some insight into the best way to effectively break up fight rings. From my amateur opinion, although the Vick case has given new hope to bust dogs, the downside is that I would guess it is much more difficult to gain access to dogfighting rings. It seems that one must either have a lot of money to bet, or dogs of their own in the fights.

I don't like the good-guys-being-the-bad-guys tactic one bit, but what is the best way to really infiltrate fight rings that will result in more than a slap on the wrist?


i think this whole thing boils down to what mills felt while he was doing his job. if he hated what he was doing and still hates it and regrets that he had to do it, then that is a plus for the man. the dog fighters are even more wary than the drug dealers. what jim crosby said, "I don't like the good-guys-being-the-bad-guys tactic one bit, but what is the best way to really infiltrate fight rings that will result in more than a slap on the wrist?" is right. for now, this is the only way to get the job done and save these dogs and put the bad guys away.


you know, these dogfighters aren't criminal masterminds, despite what Mills et al try to portray. They're just criminals. Catch them the same way you catch any other criminal.. through standard police work. And informants. NOT through becoming that which you proclaim to hate.

H Houlahan

"The end justifies the means ..."

We are assuming that the "end" desired by this law enforcement sting was the protection of animals from abuse via dogfighting.

But that's not a safe assumption.

What if the "end" is using infiltration of dogfighting "rings" to further the "war on drugs" and crack down on gambling that isn't part of the taxed-and-organized-graft casino industry?

Well then, rip up or kill a few dogs, no big deal, right?

Since the connection to illegal gambling and illegal drugs is often used to justify enforcement of anti-dogfighting laws to the general public and politicians, I don't think I'm being too paranoid here.

Also, Jim Crosby, thank you for your insight.


yeah, H Houlihan, and we KNOW that HSUS' "end" was the death of as many pit bulls as they could facilitate (until their public humiliation over the truth of what that meant). Does ASPCA care when they become dogfighters? Who cares about "pit bulls" other than what they can generate in income through further exploitation. Before they were monsters.. now they're pitiful victims (which yes, many are, but more of them are just waiting for the abuse to STOP). The real pit bull is lost.


Achieving a goal at any expense, is irresponsible and unethical. To become that which you are trying to eliminate is illogical.

In this case, if the goal is to eliminate suffering and cruelty...I do not see how being cruel and inflicting suffering makes you any different than the "criminal(s)" you purport to eliminate.

Undercover is one thing...mimicking criminal acts and participating in criminal behavior is another.


Good grief, if supporting Mike Vick is the worst thing HSUS ever does again I'll do naked cartwheels down my driveway in January.

And as for ASPCA, perhaps we should send them a thank-you note. They got Terry Mills out of Missouri. Now he can legally fight dogs all over the country to his heart's content.



First I want to be clear that I am very much against dog fighting.

Sounds like you have never owned a APBT or any terrier for that matter. Most true pits are very dog aggressive naturally, the other dogs existence is the main reason.

Its not their fault, they have been bred for that for over a hundred years.



The reality is that for the most part of their history, the dogs were not bred to fight, but for working purposes for farmers and ranchers.

And while yes, it is true that too many have been used for fighting over the past century, the vast majority have not been -- especially not in the past 50 years or so. Yes, it still goes on...but for the majority of the dogs we see in shelters and rescues they would be no better at fighting other dogs than a typical poodle would be at bird hunting (their historic purpose).

I think it's easy to get caught up in generalities when talking about dogs...but I think the more we speak in generalities the more inaccurate we are in being honest about the dogs -- because at this point they have a very diverse array of backgrounds...

John Hassell

Posters, thank you for putting my morals back where they belong

Timothy O'Connor

This should not be an issue that generates a large discussion on morality: NO SPECIES HAS THE RIGHT TO PROMOTE THE FIGHTING OR DEATH OF ANOTHER SPECIES FOR ANY REASON OR FOR SPORT

Disagree? There is something seriously wrong with you.

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