Monday, October 01, 2007

Good for you Chicago and ouch..take a look at these statistics

Chicago Leads Nation to Unite Against Dog Fighting! Community Activists, Animal Advocates and Government Leaders Launch Safe, Humane Chicago Initiative. In one of the most extensive community-wide partnerships to address violence in the context of dog fighting, the Dog Advisory Work Group (D.A.W.G.), the Alliance for Community Peace, the Chicago Police Department, and other city agencies, organizations and community advocates gathered last week to announce the Safe, Humane Chicago initiative – an aggressive citywide campaign to reduce the abhorrent practice of dog fighting and other associated violence. In cities across the nation, dog fighters and animal abusers are some of the most violent offenders in the criminal justice system. Animal abusers are more likely to commit child abuse, domestic violence and other violent acts against humans. In most cases, children exposed to the ruthless violence of dog fighting and animal abuse at a very young age become desensitized to violence, resulting in children more likely to grow up and become violent themselves. “Bottom line, the real victim of dog fighting is society,” said Steve Dale, author of the twice-weekly national column “My Pet World” and host of two nationally syndicated radio programs on animal issues. “Safe, Humane Chicago is the perfect beginning to what needs to happen all around America. We need the public to understand the reality of this violence and call for it to end.” With the recent media attention surrounding the Michael Vick case, activists warned against stereotyping dog fighters as people of a certain race or culture because data shows that the only commonality that exists among dog fighters is the predisposition to engage in violence. “Whether you like dogs or not, this issue is about violence in our communities – and we must put an end to the senseless torture of living creatures and the psychological scars that dog fighting leaves on the kids that witness this brutality,” said Reverend Dr. Walter B. Johnson, Jr., executive director for the Alliance for Community Peace. “To protect our children, we are calling on the community to get involved to make our streets safer. We cannot just look the other way and let our children become recruits for the gang bangers to mold into violent criminals.” A study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Boston’s Northeastern University shows that those who attend dog fights and witness other forms of animal cruelty are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people. ”In Chicago, data shows that 70 percent of dog-fighting and animal abuse offenders have also been arrested for violent felonies against people. Even more alarming is that 86 percent of those who have committed crimes against animals have been arrested for multiple violent offenses,” said Cynthia Bathurst, executive director of D.A.W.G. “Through education, early intervention and community involvement, we believe that we can significantly reduce violence in general by focusing on violence associated with dog fighting. This will create a more humane generation in the years to come.” Whole story here:

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