Jun 28, 2010 No Jail in Dogfighting Case, but 3 Must Pay for Dogs' Care

CHICAGO - Three men arrested at a dog fight in 2008 have been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay for the care of the two dogs they pitted against each other, the Cook County Sheriff's office said today.

No Jail time for these fine gents because they had blood money
This case can be said to be a result of the "Vick effect." A precedent was set for the disposition of fighting dogs in the Vick case. Previously, fighting dogs from dogfighting busts, which are bred for fighting, conditioned and trained for fighting and abused in other ways, were humanely euthanized because they were rightly deemed too dangerous or mentally tortured to adopt out to the public. However, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary realized there's money in fighting dogs. Dogfighters, unlike most animal abusers, often have assets from gambling on dogfights, prostitution and drugs.

Michael Vick had a lot of money. So a deal was brokered that reduced his sentence in exchange for a forfeiture of assets for the lifetime care of the fighting dogs. Each Vick dog came with a $18,275 dowry. Best Friends received about $400,000 for the 22 dogs they took. Being a sanctuary, Best Friends can make money grabs for dogs that even the most irresponsible pit bull advocate must admit are far too violent, unstable or mentally broken to be adopted out. They have cages the dogs can live in for the rest of their lives.

Since the the Vick case, the "Vick effect" has been reported a few times. In each case, the dogfighter gets off with zero jail time, shelters walk off with some cash along with the dogs, and often, another ex-fighting dog is placed into a neighborhood with children. And the dogs that are too mentally broken get to spend years in perpetual torment and fear in an above ground coffin.

There are some corrections to the story. Best Friends did not take the dogs, Spirit Animal Sanctuary did. The defendants actually paid $10,872 to the Spirit Animal Sanctuary and $9,000 to CACC in lieu of jail time. Though Ledy VanKavage worked to create policies that kept these fine fellows out of jail, she disingenuously tells supporters that she wishes they had been jailed.

Of course the sane option would be to humanely euthanize the dogs and let these gentlemen have their well-deserved jail time.

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