[The Tennessean - opinion]
By JOHN GOODWIN
Most of us by now are familiar with the gruesome dogfighting
allegations against NFL superstar Michael Vick. The details of the
allegations against Vick and his co-defendants -- dogs being
electrocuted, hanged or otherwise tortured to death for not fighting
well -- have led many Americans to question just how anyone can be
capable of such hideous cruelty and more importantly, how we can stop
The first thing that concerned individuals can do is to learn to
recognize the signs of dogfighting, which is occurring with alarming
frequency in urban areas nationwide. Dogfights occur in basements,
back alleys and abandoned warehouses, usually under cover of night.
While the fights are conducted in relative secrecy, their evidence is
not hard to come by. Pit bulls virtually pack animal shelters in most
large cities, many bearing wounds and scars and exhibiting a neurotic,
aggressive personality, sad hallmarks of a fighting dog.
Decent-minded folks can help shift the tide to law enforcement and
eradicate dogfighting by demanding more from pop icons that influence
today's youth. The pro athletes, music moguls and sportswear
corporations whose imagery give dogfighting a nod and a wink need to
be held accountable for the violence they peddle.
Until then, dogs -- and, indeed, common decency in America -- will
continue to dwindle and die.