Our End Dogfighting programs in Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia reach out to at-risk youth to offer them alternatives to dogfighting and help them develop the right tools and knowledge to care for their pets. The approach is based on proven violence prevention techniques, and its purpose is to confront and curtail the problem of urban dogfighting—through community outreach, partnerships with local groups, spay/neuter programs, and free dog training classes—and to strengthen the bonds between these young people and their pets.
At the nexus of these programs are anti-dogfighting advocates from the local community—individuals who may have even been involved with fighting in the past, but now have put this cruelty behind them and want to help attack the larger problem of animal cruelty in the community. They’re now helping prevent kids and teens from getting involved in dogfighting and turning around the lives of those already embroiled in the barbaric practice, encouraging them in a new path of celebrating and caring for animals. Three young men profiled on our website—Markus, Terrence, and Peanut—are helping to show the way.
Animal Farm Foundation
Animal Farm's founder and End Dogfighting staff
One of our strong supporters in this important work is the Animal Farm Foundation, a group dedicated to overcoming misconceptions about pit bull-type dogs and addressing the problems these animals face. The foundation supports other humane groups that work to help pit bulls, as well as educating the public and taking in dogs at its shelter.
Last week, End Dogfighting advocates and our community organizers met for a four-day workshop at the Animal Farm Foundation’s property in rural New York. The associate director of our Building Humane Communities program, which includes End Dogfighting and other initiatives, says it was a great chance for these staff—who frequently work with pit bulls in an urban setting in the program’s dog training classes—to see the dogs in a different environment and learn more about their history.
We have our eye on Los Angeles as the next city for development of this program. And the big-picture goal is to reinforce the fundamental bond between people and their animals, and to see that bond expressed with daily acts of compassion and companionship. We’re excited to continue working with Animal Farm in the future to improve the lives of many young people and their dogs.
P.S. Please take a minute today to support another important project to help pets by “liking” the American Dog Rescue page on Facebook. For each of the first 10,000 people who like the page, the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation will donate $1 to help Joplin, Mo., pets affected by the May 2011 tornado.