Friday, August 14, 2009
Putting an End to Dog Fighting Through Youth Mentoring
Photo: Curtis & Felony
From the Humane Society of the United States:
Street dogfighting is rampant in our cities, perpetuating animal cruelty, violence and crime. It causes horrible animal suffering and desensitizes young people to cruelty.
In 2006, The HSUS launched its city-wide pilot program to stop street dogfighting, End Dogfighting in Chicago. The program uses the innovative and proven community outreach methods to change attitudes and actions.
Because of its success, End Dogfighting expanded to Atlanta, and should start classes in Los Angeles soon.
Details about the Program:
* Anti-Dogfighting Advocates.The HSUS hires young men with roots in the community to combat dogfighting on a grassroots level. In neighborhoods most impacted by this crime, they mediate with men and boys at risk of getting involved in dogfighting, and intervene in dogfights. Because they are respected community members, they can reach people others cannot.
* Pit Bull Training Team. The HSUS holds free and accessible weekly pit bull training classes, which provide inspiring alternatives to dogfighting that showcase pit bulls as friends, not fighters.
* Community Outreach. The HSUS holds events in the community to promote its anti-dogfighting message and develop trust in the community. Examples include vaccination clinics, dog house giveaways, rallies and religious leader outreach.
* Law Enforcement Partnership. To fully eradicate street dogfighting, cops need to know what to look for. The HSUS partners with law enforcement, offering them training on catching dogfighting and providing a reward of up to $5,000 for tips leading to convictions.
* Humane Education. The HSUS developed a special eight-week curriculum for middle school children. This curriculum tackles the topic of dogfighting through games and hands-on activities.
For more information on getting involved with an End Dogfighting program in Chicago or Atlanta, contact Laurie Maxwell at the HSUS.