On April 8, the ASPCA kicks off its National Dog Fighting Awareness Day campaign and the animal welfare agency is joined in its effort by Sir Patrick Stewart, the actor who recently garnered a great deal of attention when he fell head over heels with his foster dog, Ginger, a pit bull he is fostering through Wags and Walks.
Stewart is clearly smitten by the friendly dog, who has been featured in many of Sir Patrick’s recent Instagram posts. The knowledge that dogs just like Ginger are being subjected to unimaginable pain and suffering at the hands of dog fighters prompted Stewart to join the ASPCA #GetTough Campaign which aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of dog fighting in the United States.
The ASPCA hopes that the #GetTough Campaign will encourage animal lovers to post selfies with their canine besties with the #GetTough in order to show their solidarity against the cruel blood sport which is more prevalent than many might imagine.
ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker stated:
“Contrary to what many people think, dog fighting isn’t rare, or a relic of the past. As recently as last December, the ASPCA has been called in to assist law enforcement in dog fighting investigations, and we’ve seen firsthand the suffering and torture these dogs are subjected to. Fighting to eradicate dog fighting is the work of committed rescuers, advocates, political leaders, and the general public, which is why we’re encouraging everyone to do their part to end this horrific activity in American culture.”
Sir Patrick Stewart added his thoughts on the inhumane “sport,” and why he wants others to join him in taking a stance against it:
“No civilized society should tolerate barbaric practices that profit off animal torture, yet this is exactly what happens at dog fights – which occur more frequently, take place in more communities, and involve a broader population of individuals than most people realize. Dog fighting represents the worst of human nature and the ultimate betrayal of loving animals, so it’s important to build awareness and a resounding public rejection. I proudly stand with the ASPCA’s #GetTough campaign because it’s an active step toward the ultimate eradication of this heinous ‘blood sport’.”
Animal lovers who want to get involved are encouraged to visit aspca.org/gettough to learn more about dogfighting – help end the stereotyping of “pit bull type” dogs by fighting breed specific legislation and consider fostering a shelter dog (maybe even a pretty pittie like Ginger!).
The ASPCA continues to tackle the dog fighting rings through investigations, law enforcement training, legislation, advocacy and rehabilitation of dogs seized during dog fighting raids. Learn more about this important campaign here.
(Images Instagram and Wags and Walks Facebook page)