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Athletes and Their Dogs | jonmower.com

Athletes and Their Dogs

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From an article titled "The Horrors of Dogfighting" in The Week:

Michael Vick is hardly the first athlete connected to dogfighting. In fact, in the macho culture of professional sports, fighting dogs are a status symbol and dogfighting is widely considered a harmless pastime, says sports psychologist Harry Edwards. When Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis learned that Vick faced charges for running a dogfighting operation, he said, "It's his property. It's his dogs. If that's what he wants to do, do it." In 2006, two fighting dogs owned by NFL linebacker Joey Porter escaped from his yard and mauled a neighbor's miniature pony to death. "The dog is going to be a reflection of the owner," Porter explained. "I don't too much care for a passive dog." One of former NBA player Latrell Sprewell's four pit bulls once attacked his 4-year-old daughter, tearing off one of her ears. Sprewell resisted having the dog euthanized. "Stuff happens," he said. That remark might seem callous, but it apparently reflects a mentality that attracts athletes to fighting dogs in the first place. "If you're looking to project a tough image," says Kelli Ferris, a veterinary science professor at North Carolina State, "a Pomeranian on a leash doesn't cut it—a snarling pit bull does."

I remember when Porter's dogs killed the pony, but I was too naive to realize that they were fighting dogs.

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