Dog fights and cockfights and other repulsive over-testosteroned fare
Is it just me or are you feeling like this news is a little stale, given what the rest of us already know: animal fighting is abusive, underreported and seldom prosecuted. It’s only when high rollers like Vick and his increasingly urban ilk get in on the game that this form of institutionalized cruelty becomes newsworthy.
In Miami, cockfighting flies under the radar every single day. But when live cockfighting feeds from Puerto Rico go broadband (thanks to a South Florida web entrepreneur) it’s somehow more revolting. Problem is, it’s easier to police international commerce than handle the rogues in our own back yards.
Is it just me or is something wrong with the resolution on my personal radar screen? If it’s sick and disgusting for Vick and his show-biz buddies (Jay-Z, etc.) to take up dog fighting as a fun new hobby, and if the outcry over their new criminal pastime is so loud and sustained, then why is it so hard to get our own law enforcement to go after these felons (it’s a felony in many states, though not in all)?
Is it because pit bulls and fighting birds are viewed more as vermin than as pets? Or is it because these laws are almost exclusively enforced by our notoriously cashed-strapped animal service units? Either way, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you don’t address the source, increasing numbers and varieties of animals will flood the system once the bad actors are done corrupting these creatures’ reputations along with their will and their flesh.
Apart from redirecting law enforcement efforts, I’d solve the problem with a few choice economic sanctions and several months of full-time community service for the spectators—and jail time for organizers and keepers. In this specific case, I’d give the guy filming cockfights a permanent job slopping chicken dung for fertilizer. And I’d sentence Vick to a season-long stint in an Atlanta shelter cleaning kennels for the mangled dogs his patronage has put there.