Loading...
BYH: To want to be grandparents. Who try to push the real grandparents out of the way so that they can take over. These...

State must humanely address dogfighting issues

DOG1_1.jpg

A pit bull suspected in an attack is taken to the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

Loading…

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states because the blood sport — usually accompanied by heavy wagering — is cruel to dogs. Yet in North Carolina most dogs rescued from such operations face an even harsher fate. Those that show scars and wounds from fighting are deemed dangerous and usually euthanized.

Executing the victims is a paradox at the center of an Orange County dog fighting case that raises questions about whether the state’s law is too rigid and what options might be available to spare fighting dogs.

The case began with a drug raid on a Rougemont property March 2. Authorities found 30 pit bulls as well as a fighting pit and animal records.

The dogs’ owner, Daniel Isiah Crew Jr., was arrested a month later on multiple counts of dogfighting and cruelty to animals. The dogs have been held since at the animal shelter in Chapel Hill as evidence.

Under state law, all the fighting dogs are deemed “dangerous dogs” and subject to being euthanized. But municipal and county governments are free to adopt their own programs for controlling dangerous dogs. That’s what happened in this case.

Orange County Animal Services and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals jointly evaluated the dogs. Eight have been found suitable to be spared and adopted.

Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team, said, “The ASPCA believes that all dogs, including dogs seized in suspected dogfighting cases, should be viewed as individuals and carefully evaluated to determine the most appropriate and humane course of action.”

However, she added, that not all dogs can or should be saved. She said, “Some dogs exhibit highly aggressive behavior and we feel humane euthanasia is an unfortunate but necessary step to safeguard the public and end the suffering of these animals, who have been exploited by individuals for personal, criminal gain.”

That is a humane approach, but not one without risks. Euthanizing dangerous dogs isn’t necessarily heartless. It’s intended to protect people and other dogs. And eliminating dogs trained to fight can be seen as part of the price of cracking down on dogfighting itself.

Nonetheless, there is evidence that such dogs can be trained to be safe companions. The ASPCA evaluated 49 dogs involved in the dogfighting case of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick and found that all but one could be safely adopted or kept under animal sanctuary conditions.

Bob Marotto, director of Orange County Animal Services, said his agency’s experience with assessing the 30 dogs has shown the need for more flexibility in determining whether a dog is dangerous.

“This experience has certainly prompted me and others to wonder whether or not North Carolina’s dangerous dog law could be written in s way that is not so damning for dogs that come out of these circumstances,” he said.

Orange County authorities have gone to great lengths to prosecute dogfighting and provide a second chance for some of the dogs involved in the Crew case. State lawmakers should do the same.

They should study the extent of dogfighting in North Carolina — one of the top states for this vicious activity. Then they should assess what can be done to end dogfighting without ending the lives of its victims.

The News & Observer of Raleigh

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

December 18, 2018

Among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's responsibilities are approval and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs. In short, its responsibility is to ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs. In the performance of this task, FDA officials can make two types of errors — statistically…

Walter Williams

December 18, 2018

In an age where halls of higher learning play host to political correctness on steroids, it’s nice to see the University of North Carolina System leading the way to protect freedom of speech.

Two state colleges, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Western Carolina University in…

Free Speech-Berkeley-4

December 17, 2018

How many of us have missed an important phone call because we didn’t recognize the number? Nowadays if you don’t recognize the number, you don’t answer the phone. Why? Because of all those annoying robocalls.

Some robocalls mask themselves by using a local number when the call…

Apple-Qualcomm

December 16, 2018

All journalists enjoy getting recognition for their work. But by nature and tradition, they’d much rather tell the story than be the story.

What motivates reporters, from Maryland to Myanmar, is not the desire for fame. It’s the hunger to break news, explain the world and hold the…

121618Time

December 15, 2018

The Trump administration on Nov. 30 gave five companies permission to conduct seismic airgun blasting off the coast of the Carolinas and other states, a major step toward offshore oil and gas drilling.

Here’s what that would look like, directly off the Carolinas’ coasts and extending…

Offshore Drilling Lawsuit

December 14, 2018

Thomas A. Farr was a woefully bad choice to be a federal district judge in North Carolina.

Thank goodness Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, stood up for principle over blind party loyalty and announced that he would oppose Farr’s nomination. With all 49 Democrats in the Senate…

Congress Judicial Nomination

December 13, 2018

North Carolina corporations, again, are about to get another huge tax break — a break they do not need. It will make it more difficult for the government to meet the obligations it has to provide a quality education to the state’s children and high quality of life to all its…

N.C. Legislative Building

December 12, 2018

In his 1991 confirmation hearings, C-SPAN noted on Friday, former attorney general William Barr declared that "nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the…

Trump Attorney General-2

December 10, 2018

While the National Flood Insurance Program covers only 134,000 households our of North Carolina’s 3.8 million, it will likely pay for repairs costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Add all the damage in other states this year, from Florence and later from Hurricane Michael, which flattened…

Harvey-Flood Insurance-4

December 09, 2018

It is almost a truism in criminal investigations that those who flip early and help prosecutors build their case against higher-ranking figures are shown greater leniency than those who try to gut it out.

Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, is…

Trump Russia Probe Flynn
85 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»