Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog fighting

Here's a Texas story about an undercover police operation--with the undercover policemen hosting a number of fights--that led to many arrests for conducting dog fights. After the arrests, the fighting dogs were put down. So it's a story about repugnant transactions, from several points of view...

Bringing Down the Dogmen: How a pair of undercover cops infiltrated the secret world of Houston dogfighting.

"For centuries, dogfighting was perfectly legal. In Rome’s Colosseum, gladiator dogs were pitted against one another or against other animals, including wild elephants. One of the more popular forms of entertainment in twelfth-century England was “baiting,” in which fighting dogs would be released into a ring with chained bulls and bears. In the colonial United States dogfights were common, and they continued well into the nineteenth century, with formal rules and sanctioned referees. As recently as 1881, the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad advertised special fares to a dogfight in Louisville, Kentucky.
Eventually, because of protests by such groups as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, states began passing legislation that banned dogfights. By the thirties, dogfighting had been driven almost completely underground. Nevertheless, it remained a culturally ingrained phenomenon that simply refused to go away—a fact that became all too clear when Michael Vick, the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, was indicted by a grand jury in July 2007 for operating a dogfighting ring on his Virginia farm and later sentenced to two years in prison. The vast majority of Americans were stunned. Why, they wanted to know, would a young multimillionaire celebrity risk everything to engage in what they regarded as a barbaric practice?"

Here's an earlier post.

Update: the article is now gated (it wasn't when I read it). Here is an ungated followup article by the same author: Fight Club. Here is a followup by a different author: What Texas Monthly left out about 'bringing down the dogmen'

1 comment:

WTF said...

to read the article you have to subscribe - wtf! are you an agent for that stupid site?