Dogfighting is a well known problem. The crime got a much higher profile following Michael Vick’s very public arrest in an interstate dogfighting ring in 2007. There are news stories every few months about a new raid, and the operations are usually large and involve multiple arrests. In July 2009, law enforcement officials in 5 states arrested 30 people and seized 350 dogs in the largest coordinated effort against such abuse. A few weeks ago, on April 11th, 4 simultaneous raids in Philadelphia netted 14 arrests and at least 13 dogs. The Humane Society has assisted in over 400 raids on animal fighting operations since 2007.
The stories are horrible: bait dogs, executions, maltreatment, neglect of injured dogs; the list is endless. I’m unable to understand how or why people can treat animals like this. If someone doesn’t love animals, fine – don’t own them. The malice that is required to commit these acts is reprehensible.
Now, Kage Games, LLC has developed a game that details all of the inner workings of this heinous enterprise. The platform it runs on is Android, so you can have this as a diversion while you’re waiting for your doctor’s appointment or standing in line for lunch. It includes how to pick a dog, feed it, train it, and match it against other dogs to win money. The insider knowledge seems a little too on target with what happens in real life dogfighting operations.
Whoever thought this was a good idea must not be in touch with the animal rights community these days. There has already been an outcry over the app, and the developer is already complaining on their site about people who have a “bug up your b*tt about the game concept”.
Michael Vick has done a good job of trying to educate young people on the harm his old hobby causes, by partnering with the Humane Society in their anti-dogfighting campaign. A large number of young people seem to be unaware of the damage that can result, and he is using his celebrity to change that. Something like this can only serve to undo the good he has done. Mr. Vick made a statement today condemning the game.
You can let Google know that you’re not a fan of Dog Wars, and ask them to take it down here: http://www.google.com/support/androidmarket/bin/request.py?contact_type=takedown
What do you think? Is it “just a game”, as the makers claim? Or do things like this desensitize people to the abuse?