Monday, August 3, 2009
Letter to Commissioner Goodell | PDF
DogsBite.org - Prior to Michael Vick's reinstatement to the National Football League and in the wake of James Harrison's pet pit bull unleashing a violent attack on his 2-year old son and wife, DogsBite.org sent a letter to Commissioner Goodell1. We asked in our July 23 letter that the NFL take a stand against the ownership of pit bulls by its players or risk this prized All-American sport going to the "pits." We also asked that Vick address the issue of "status" in a series of Public Service Announcements to help prevent future attacks.
A Long History of Pit Bull Imagery
The history of the National Football League and pit bulls stretches back to the 1920's with the "Fighting Bulldogs" of Canton, Ohio. Pit bull imagery was arguably resurrected in 1985 after the success of the "Junkyard Dog Defense" used by the Chicago Bears. Since 2001, the NFL's association with pit bulls has led to increasing violence, including incidents with Michael Vick, James Harrison, Steve Foley, Jerome Mathis, Jonathan Babineaux, Tank Johnson, Joey Porter, LeShon Johnson and Thomas Hamner.
Dogfighting, however, is only part of the pit bull problem. The other part is status-seeking through trying to own the "baddest" dog on the block. Harrison, Foley and Porter each owned pit bulls that launched malicious attacks on innocent people and pets. Both dogfighting and status-seeking drive the proliferation of unstable pit bulls that wind up in our neighborhoods and city shelters. These often-volatile pit bulls, bred in backyards and black market venues, directly contribute to the alarming number of U.S. pit bull attacks.
In the 3-year period of 2006 to 2008 a pit bull killed an American every 21 days. During part of this period, Vick was socked away in federal prison.
Tough Men Do Not Need Tough Dogs
Earlier this year, the U.S. Army banned pit bulls and other dangerous dog breeds from U.S. privatized housing developments (40+ facilities) for the protection of children and family members. Shortly thereafter, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune adopted a similar policy. Camp Lejeune base commanding officer Col. Richard P. Flatau Jr. was explicit in his language regarding the new policy: "These specific breeds present an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of our residents and are therefore prohibited."
Over 65 U.S. military bases, which produce some of the toughest American men of all, have now taken a stand against the ownership of pit bulls.
It is time for the National Football League to do the same.
We stated in our letter to Commissioner Goodell that DogsBite.org does not support the reinstatement of Michael Vick unless the NFL takes a formal stance against the ownership of pit bulls by its players and once and for all severs "pit bull imagery" from the sport of American football. By taking such a stance, the National Football League has the opportunity to take a powerful leadership role in the prevention of dogfighting and future pit bull attacks, neither of which deserves table space intended for ice cream and apple pie.
07/21/09: ESPN's "Outside the Lines" Looks at Vick's Impact on Dogfighting
06/20/09: James Harrison's Pit Bull "Patron" is Up for Adoption Under New Breed Name
05/23/09: Steelers Linebacker James Harrison's Pit Bull Attacks His Son
05/25/09: Professional Athletes and Pit Bulls: Dogfighting, Abuse and Violent Attacks
04/22/09: Report: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008
04/18/09: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Bans Dangerous Dog Breeds
03/17/09: U.S. Army Adopts Breed Restriction Policy for RCI Privatized Housing
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| 8/03/2009 1:50 AM |
It was just announced (August 2) that a Marine "Corpswide" proposal calls for banning dangerous dog breeds across ALL Marine bases as soon as September. The draft order, which would be included in the Marine Corps Housing Management Manual, prohibits pit bulls, rottweilers, wolf hybrids and their mixes from being on "any Marine Corps installation, at any time."
| 8/03/2009 9:08 AM |
I am very thankful for your organization, Colleen! Way to go.
Now, if DBO could just expose Best Friends as the radical religious cult they are...How interested would the American (donating) public be to know this?
| 8/03/2009 12:04 PM |
Doesn't matter to expose BF to the general public, they are probably getting most of their donations from the breeders and dog fighters and those people don't care. I say probably the Vick dogs have attacked a staffer but we would never hear about it. Lies and more lies, is all that BF can do.
| 8/03/2009 1:38 PM |
Best Friends WAS founded by cultists as a money-raising proposition (these cult founders still profit from Best Friends through pensions that donations provide for, and sale of Best Friends merchandise, which is owned by a founder private company)
But the founders are elderly and retired, dead, or got pushed out by the new dog breeder (and worse) affiliated faction that is trying to take over the board of directors of Best Friends and get their hands on the millions in the bank from Katrina rescue that Best Friends is hoarding.
It is being spent now on lobbying for dog breeder interests, and hiring people connected to dog breeders.
Best Friends is helping dog fighters and puppy mills (hoarders too) to be very blunt. And No Kill is one of the products that is being used to disguise dog breeder interests.
Also the pit bull promotion.
| 8/03/2009 3:25 PM |
Here is a current list of nearly every NFL team's public stance on potentially signing Vick. The only teams not completely ruling him out appear to be the Steelers (so Vick can hobnob with Harrison) and the Redskins.
The 49ers had the best response: "Coach Mike Singletary called the potential for Vick landing in San Francisco "a dead issue." Said Singletary, "It's not happening." (July 28)"
| 8/03/2009 7:36 PM |
Great commentary on this story---yes in the contract of each NFL player it should state that no player own any breed of dog that was created for fighting----the pit bull is of course the major dog for fighting around the world.
| 8/03/2009 9:31 PM |
"I say probably the Vick dogs have attacked a staffer but we would never hear about it."
There was actually a video of this where the dog lunged at the reporter and handler after a year of rehab and throwing money away on it. The excuse given? People surrounded the dog and the dog most likely thought it was a fighting situation. Although no other dog was present so I don't know how one would logically come up with that excuse. Still, if all you had to do is surround a former fighting dog to send it back into fight mode where it would attack a human, those dogs are not safe to be living anywhere
| 8/04/2009 6:08 AM |
Add Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, a pit bull breeder who was busted for animal neglect a few years ago. Arrested the other day for having an uunregistered firearm. Apparently he didn't learn his lesson from team mate plaxico Burress.
I wonder if James Harrison purchased Level 5 Mauler "Patrone" from a n NFL "hobby" breeder?
| 8/04/2009 9:58 AM |
Anon, would like a link to that video. And you're right, what if that dog were in a dog park or out in the public with lots of people? That is not a rehabbed dog. How many damn excuses can these people come up with?
| 8/04/2009 11:30 AM |
The Tennessee Titans' top draft pick in 2007, Michael Griffin, is also a pit bull breeder. Apparently he used to love to speak of his pet pit bulls prior to the arrest of Vick. Before he was drafted, Griffin's "hobby" was "shared with several of his Longhorns teammates." After he became drafted, he and other pit bull owning Titan teammates became a little camera shy:
"Griffin and Titans teammates Reynaldo Hill and LenDale White have defended their ownership of pit bulls, answering questions that have become relevant in the wake of Vick's plummet from superstardom. Griffin and Hill reportedly decided not to have their photos taken with their dogs as part of a story done by The Nashville Tennessean."
I think "dozens" of NFL hobby breeders is an understatement.
| 8/06/2009 9:17 PM |
The NCAA clearly needs to kick pit bulls out of their line up as well. Brock Spack, the first-year Illinois State football coach, brought the annual "Pit Bull Award" to ISU.
"At work, Spack prefers pit bulls. He wants players who are tenacious, tough, physical. He even offers a reward. The Pit Bull Award goes each spring to a player on offense and defense. A staple during Spack's years as an assistant at Wyoming and Purdue, he eagerly brought it to Normal."
| 8/08/2009 3:48 PM |
Potentially violent dogs = dogfighting.
"Michael Vick has arrived at a suburban Atlanta community center to talk to inner-city youths about how to deal with potentially violent dogs.
The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback entered the New Life Community Center in Decatur through a back entrance Saturday for an event put on by the Humane Society of the United States."
| 8/14/2009 2:11 AM |
Vick landed with the Phillies! Perfect place for him as the PSPCA consistently belts out massive distortions about pit bulls and has one heck of a local dogfighting problem too. The man couldn't have picked a better city -- filled with ironies, discrepancies and strong arming the truth down into a dark, rotten hole.