Friday, June 8, 2007

Michael Vick do you hear that sound? . . .

. . . it's getting closer.

"During an April 25 drug raid on the home Vick owns in the county, authorities seized 66 dogs, including 55 pit bulls, and equipment that suggested someone at the property was involved in a dogfighting operation.

A search warrant affidavit said some of the dogs were in individual kennels and about 30 were tethered with "heavy logging-type chains" buried in the ground. The chains allowed the dogs to get close to each other, but not to have contact, one of myriad findings on the property that suggested a dogfighting operation.

Others included a rape stand, used to hold non-receptive dogs in place for mating; an electric treadmill modified to be used by dogs; a "pry bar" used to open the clamped-down mouths of dogs; and a bloodied piece of carpeting the authorities believe was used in dog fights. Carpeting gives dogs traction in a plywood fighting pit."

I've done research on this animal abuse. The "logging chains" , which can weigh over 40 lbs, are used to strengthen the dog's neck and shoulders. The chain is locked around the dogs neck and they are fed from above so they are forced to lift the chain in order to reach the food. Using the Pavlovian technique a whistle is blown during feeding. Once conditioned to reach up at the sound of the whistle the dogs are placed on a "workout schedule" with a whistle being blown at regular intervals so the dogs "exercise" and strengthen their necks in preparation for fighting.

The chains are at a length that allows closeness but not contact to develop unnatural aggression towards each other. Not only are the dogs forced to lift heavy chains to reach food but they are also given the perception that they must compete with another dog for food in an all or nothing battle. Dogs are pack animals, they integrate so well with us because we have a strong family structure. Wild dogs establish a pecking order which determines who eats first. They cooperate during the hunt and share the food so they all can eat. They live as a team, a family. These dogs crave physical contact. They sleep next to and often on top of one and other. Forcing them to compete for food in such a way, then lay near, but too far away to touch the other dogs is nothing less than psychological torture. It is the complete opposite of the dogs instinct.

Dogs are among the toughest animals on the planet. Bulldogs fought bulls (also barbaric and thankfully no longer done). Foxes have been known to chew their own leg off to escape a claw trap. They are wired to be able to tolerate great physical pain. This trait is exploited by sick bastards like Vick. In great contrast to this ability to resist pain, dogs feel an incredible need for contact, inclusion, family and at the risk of anthropomorphizing, love. To deprive them of this is the ultimate pain that can be afflicted.

I thought the vicious, bloody pain I saw in the dog fighting video was the worst thing that can happen to these animals. I had no idea how wrong I was. The slow monstrous daily ordeal these sadistic perverts subject these dogs to is exponentially worse. They live chained too far to touch other dogs they wish to socialize with, even though they compete unnaturally for food. They lie alone in the dark and listen to the the cries of other dogs they'll never touch. Unable to lick the other's wounds, their wounds hurt all the worse.

The real pain is the life these dogs live. Their death is the release. Their sad, wicked, horrific, bloody release.

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