Friday, August 21, 2009

From the Humane Society of the United States on Dog Fighting

I live in Chicago. Nearly every day for the past three years, I've spent time with young men on the streets who used to fight dogs. I've guided them -- and their dogs -- to a new and better life free from animal cruelty.

I help run the End Dogfighting program in Chicago for The Humane Society of the United States. And I want to tell you about a young man named Sean Moore (pictured). Sean fought dogs starting at age 12, and saw hundreds of dogs die in street fights. His dog Butch won the last fight of Sean's dogfighting career, but had to be put down because of his wounds. "That was it for me," he says.

Now an anti-dogfighting advocate in our End Dogfighting program, Sean scans the streets for young people with pit bulls. Some of the dogs have wounds, and most have never seen a vet. He invites these would-be dogfighters to free pit bull training classes, where we work to build skills at both ends of the leash -- working with the dogs and the young men.

Over the last year alone, our End Dogfighting programs in Chicago and Atlanta have reached hundreds of at-risk youth and dogs with constructive alternatives and a message of compassion. We want to reach thousands more by expanding this program to other communities. Will you help?

Just this week, we've gotten more than a hundred inquiries asking The HSUS for help in starting End Dogfighting programs in other communities. They'd heard about our program through the publicity surrounding Michael Vick. So many cities across America are desperate for The HSUS's innovative community-based outreach programs.

Success stories like Sean Moore's explain why. Sean recruits young men who come to class barely able to control their lunging, snarling animals. As the participants gain pride in a dog's performance on the agility course and experience positive competition, dogfighting becomes much less tempting -- and ultimately, at odds with their newly formed beliefs. The men begin to see their dogs as friends, not fighters. Some men even become community ambassadors like Sean and help pull others out of the quicksand that is urban dogfighting.

But this proven community-based program can't thrive and grow by itself. Will you donate $25, $50, even $100 today to help save even more dogs and young men from lives of violence? Click here.

This program is about change -- the kind of change that inspires. Both people and pups can make astonishing progress through The HSUS' End Dogfighting program. But we can't do it without your help. Please join me by making a special gift today. Together we can reduce dogfighting on the streets, person by person. And we can shield dogs from this horrible cruelty.


Tio Hardiman
Top Dog
The HSUS' End Dogfighting Campaign

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