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Short Film Educates Communities About Dogfighting

In conjunction with the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, director Erik Friedl and writer John Caruso have produced an excellent video examining the problem of dogfighting—not just the inhumanity of the practice and the torture it inflicts on the animals forced to fight, but the negative effects it can have on entire communities. Dogfighting is one aspect of what the video calls a “culture of violence,” the result of which can be a fearful and isolated society that is desensitized to suffering. In the video, a humane investigator and a teacher who was exposed to dogfighting as a child talk about the drugs, gambling, and weapons that often accompany the dogfighting culture.

The video gives suggestions on how citizens young and old can combat dogfighting through vigilant observation and reporting of suspicious activities; it also contains a demonstration of safe behavior for children who may come upon unknown dogs. While not particularly gruesome given the subject it covers, the film does include some disturbing and sad footage of fighting dogs. The filmmakers recommend the video for ages 12 and up; it’s a sensitive and serious portrayal of a community-wide problem, and speaks clearly to a wide range of audiences without ever seeming condescending.

Through support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Anti-Cruelty Society is sending letters offering free VHS or DVD copies of this educational tool to humane organizations around the country; the offer is valid through January 1. If you do not receive the offer in your mailbox or miss the deadline, contact the Anti-Cruelty Society at 312-644-8338, ext. 312;


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