July 22nd 2007 2:33 pm
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Here we are finally at home agian, my own back yard to run and play in and chase the lawnmower in. Oh yeah It's good to be home but I will be ready when mom loads the truck back up to take off on a new adventure.
July 19th 2007 5:43 pm
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I would bite the ankles of someone if they did this to my sassy only I can try to push her around
Vick Case Sheds Light on Dogfighting
By Tom Weir,USA Today
Posted: 2007-07-19 14:06:35
Filed Under: Crime News, Nation, Sports News
(July 19) - No matter how Michael Vick's
indictment on charges of operating a dogfighting
ring is resolved in court, allegations against the
NFL star have forced mainstream America to
confront the grisly image of canine death matches.
Joe Fudge, Daily Press, AP Investigators say they
seized 55 pit bulls, including this one, from NFL
quarterback Michael Vick's property this week. His
case sheds light on the estimated thousands of
canine death matches that take place each year in
Law enforcement and animal-protection advocates
who have participated in raids on the type of
enterprises that the Atlanta Falcons quarterback
and three other men are accused of running say the
reality of the dogfighting underworld is even
worse than most people can imagine.
They say seized dogs inevitably are euthanized,
the plywood walls of the typical fighting ring are
splattered with blood, and cruelty shrouds every
aspect of the dog's life.
"When you go to where these fights have happened,
you'll find a couple of dog corpses or a pit full
of blood," says Mack Dickinson, a Louisiana state
trooper who heads that state's dogfighting
investigations. "We'll open up their kennels,
where they'll put dogs after they've fought, and
they'll have blood all over the walls."
Diane Jessup, a former Washington state animal
control officer, says, "With dogs that don't win,
it's not uncommon for them to be electrocuted,
shot, hung or burned." But what troubles her even
more is "the way the dogs are maintained, kept out
in the mud on a short chain, a lifetime of that.
To me, that's crueler than the fighting."
Kathryn Destreza, who as director of humane law
enforcement for the Louisiana SPCA has been on
about 30 raids in the last three years, says the
animals' owners "will file the dog's canine teeth
into a sharp point, or they'll put ground-up glass
in their fur" before a fight.
At some raids where spectators have fled into the
woods as police invaded, Destreza says, abandoned
toddler-sized chairs and nearby milk and cookies
suggest some people consider dogfighting family
More often, law enforcement officials say, the
sweeps net drugs, weapons and gambling money.
Of the 65 dogfighting arrests he's made in the
last five years, Sgt. David Hunt of the Franklin
County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office says, "There's only
been one where we didn't find drugs."
Hunt testified before Congress last year at a
hearing that led to legislation making dogfighting
a federal felony. That, Hunt says, has increased
the efforts of federal law enforcement.
Practice Growing in Cities
Vick's indictment was handed up Tuesday in
Richmond, Va., in federal district court. He faces
charges of transporting fighting dogs across state
lines and engaging in dogfighting. Conviction
could mean a six-year prison term and a $350,000
Vick and the three other men are scheduled to have
a bond hearing and arraignment July 26, the day
the Falcons begin training camp.
After a meeting involving NFL commissioner Roger
Goodell and the Falcons, the league will let Vick
keep playing, the Associated Press reported. The
AP reported that a person with knowledge of the
meeting, who requested anonymity so the case would
not be influenced, said the NFL would stick to
that position for the foreseeable future, despite
its new personal-conduct policy.
Vick's case doesn't include drug or weapon
charges, but Hunt says it is a "textbook example"
of how law enforcement often stumbles into a
In Vick's case, a drug-related investigation by
local police of a Vick family member took place at
the Surry County, Va., property owned by Vick. Law
enforcement took note of the presence of numerous
dogs, further searches were conducted and 55 pit
bulls were seized.
Eric Sakach, West Coast regional office director
for the Humane Society of the United States, has
been investigating dogfighting for about 30 years
and estimates 40,000 people may be involved in the
blood sport nationwide.
Dogfighting traditionally is associated with rural
settings, but Sakach says the biggest growth is at
the "street level," in cities.
Hunt agrees, saying at a recent seminar with
Chicago police that he was told gangs are
increasingly engaging in dogfighting. "Instead of
those guys getting in a fight and police getting
called, they'll fight their dogs instead," Hunt
Typically, dogfighting cases are not resolved
quickly in court. One of the most publicized cases
in recent years goes to trial next month - 2 years
and 5 months after the alleged breeding center of
Floyd Boudreaux and his son Guy in Broussard, La.,
Louisiana state trooper Dickinson led that raid in
March 2005 and alleges that Boudreaux-bred pit
bull puppies sell for as much as $5,000. Dickinson
also says he has raided two dogfighting operations
in the last week but rarely is able to break up
events in mid-fight.
"They never disclose the location until an hour or
two before," Dickinson says. "It may be in a field
or a warehouse. They might fight four dogs, then
go to another location."
During the 20-some raids he has conducted the last
three years, Dickinson says, "We've seized AK-47s,
explosive devices, a kilo of crack. The drugs and
weapons associated with this sport are
Until Vick's indictment, perhaps the most
prominent dogfighting case involved the New York
state prosecution of James Fricchione, known to
authorities as the "Al Capone" of dogfighting.
Former Orange County prosecutor David Hoovler
described the 2003 raid on Fricchione's property
as entering a "Spartacus for puppies" where
authorities found 18 animals. Many were severely
wounded. The compound included treadmills where
dogs were trained for stamina, a fighting ring and
an electrocution chamber.
Fricchione was later convicted of animal cruelty
charges and sentenced to between two and seven
years in prison.
Three years after the conviction, Hoovler, now a
federal prosecutor, still remembers the scene he
encountered April 23, 2003.
He says one of the 18 dogs was missing half of a
jaw and another suffered from about 70 open
wounds. Still another had scar tissue covering
about 75% of its body. At least 13 of the 18
animals were injured.
"I had been to a number of murder scenes," Hoovler
says, "but I was appalled."
Fricchione's The Sporting Dog Journal was
considered the ultimate authority on dogfighting
and was circulated to about 3,000 subscribers.
Police say copies of the magazine commonly are
found at raid sites because it tracked breeding
lines and performances in 1,500-2,000 fights a
Fight Sites 'More Organized'
Another major conviction came in November 2004 in
Charleston County, S.C., when David Tant received
a 40-year sentence after at least 40 pit bulls
were seized on his property.
That investigation began after a state surveyor
tripped a booby-trapped shotgun on Tant's property
and was shot, according to Mark Plowden, spokesman
for the South Carolina attorney general's office.
Tant was regarded as one of the world's top
breeders of fighting dogs. "His name has been
found in underground publications as far away as
eastern Germany," Plowden says.
Plowden says South Carolina formed a task force on
dogfighting in 2003 only after the SPCA made a
presentation to Attorney General Henry McMaster.
"People are just generally unfamiliar with the
extent of the problem," Plowden says.
Sandy Christiansen, president of the Spartanburg
(S.C.) Humane Society, consults with law
enforcement in several states, has been on about
30 dogfighting raids and also has served as an
expert government witness at trials.
"Increasingly, they're getting more and more
secure," Christiansen says of those who stage
dogfights. "Recently I've heard they'll take away
cellphones and they may not allow people to come
and go. We're definitely talking about more
The typical fighting ring, Christiansen says, is a
16-foot square of plywood, with a 2- to
3-foot-high wall. "The fight is anywhere you can
put the pit," Christiansen says. "Inside abandoned
houses, a basement. For a garage, it's simple -
just black out the windows."
Christiansen says it's up to communities to
develop awareness of what might be happening in
those hidden battlegrounds.
"You've got to have a pretty violent streak in you
to sit and watch man's best friend rip another one
to shreds so someone can make money," he says.
Contributing: Kevin Johnson
Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett
Co. Inc. All Rights Reserved.
July 11th 2007 8:52 pm
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Man I wish sassy wasn't so rough, today she came charging at me and before I could even get my barings, I am tumbling across the lawn. Mom laughed at me she said it was so cute the way I rolled,and the look I gave sassy afterwards.