Letters from the Issue of February 6, 2003

The nation's animal lovers bite back

I will urge everyone I know to contact New Times advertisers and encourage them to withdraw from the publication. The paper has done a terrible injustice to innocent animals and a tremendous disservice to the community.

Cindy Hewitt

Miami

About punks, by a punk:With his "Dogfight Club" article, Brandon Dane documents his willful participation in the brutal abuse of animals. It seems his desire to write about himself prevented him from understanding the atrocities he witnessed first-hand. The end result is a worthless piece of journalism -- an article about punks who think abusing dogs is cool, written by a self-absorbed punk who thinks gambling is cool.

The idea that ignorant cowards torture dogs for fun and/or financial gain is not worth reporting. The only noteworthy piece of information in the article is that New Times financially supports a loser who is amused by animal abuse and further encourages animal abusers by celebrating their antics.

Fred Bredemeyer

Davie

Heartless writer, heartless editor, shameful publication: I am very disgusted with Brandon Dane's "Dogfight Club." It always shocks me when people speak so loosely about how an animal can be slaughtered. When it's about any other form of life, we use more sense and humanity. But a life is a life is a life.

This article proves once again that a dog might be man's best friend but man is a dog's worst enemy. Not only is the writer heartless but so is the editor. Shame on them and shame on New Times!

Barbara Sanabria

Miami

The purpose should have been prosecution, not provocation: I was totally repulsed by "Dogfight Club." What was the purpose if not to prosecute the people who are responsible? The author treats this disturbing topic as though it were as innocuous as a dog show, when in fact these animals are treated with amazing brutality. If this amoralistic "news" was an attempt to be provocative, New Times has indeed provoked this reader -- to stop reading the publication.

This story was absolutely disgusting, and Brandon Dane was an accomplice to the criminals who are abusing those defenseless animals.

Noel Steinfeld

Surfside

If you think animal abuse is fun, just wait till you see toddler fights: While dogfighting, as described by Brandon Dane, does indeed sound like super fun -- what with the sound of teeth on bones, blood spurting from bite wounds, dogs being killed by their owners for losing a fight, or dogs simply dying from their wounds -- I still prefer cockfighting. After all, in cockfighting you get to see the animals hopped up on steroids and with razor blades attached to their feet. Oh, and the bloodshed! Simply hilarious, especially when you can bet on them and have the added bonus of winning some quick cash. So congratulations on promoting the abuse of animals. We certainly don't abuse them enough already.

Hey, Brandon, when you've tired of attending dogfights, do consider going on a prairie-dog shoot, or perhaps spending a lazy afternoon herding wild mustangs off the side of a cliff. As you said, "People are just poor and frustrated now, and so they get angry and need to find a way to let that out."

As for me, I'm a little frustrated with the economy too, which is why I'm organizing "toddler fights," where kids ages two to four are injected with all sorts of crazy drugs, then equipped with little Freddy Krueger finger razors and thrown into a pit to fight it out. Sure, some get wounded and some die, but I get to blow off a little steam. See you there!

Laura Sebastian

Miami

Judge a society by its treatment of animals, not by its newspapers: Having told myself hundreds of times over the last few years that I am going to stop reading newspapers, I believe I will now make good on my personal vow. I've grown tired of reading about what people are capable of doing, but the world seems to keep reaching new lows, as witnessed by the article "Dogfight Club." The very fact that Brandon Dane was paid to write this is disturbing, and that is incentive enough for me to stop reading New Times.

That dogfighting is illegal, immoral, and cruel means nothing as long as you can gamble on it, right? But the rationalization that all sports are becoming more violent conveniently overlooks the fact that people make their own choices, whereas dogs cannot. Also the suggestion that dogfighters are in any way comparable to owners and trainers of racehorses is preposterous. The vast majority of horse people are devastated if their horses are injured. People own and race horses because they love them, not to get rich. People who actually make money in the horse business are few and far between, but most care deeply about their horses, and support them long after they have lost the ability to race and make money.

All in all I was offended by the callous disregard for animals as portrayed in "Dogfight Club." One of the ways a society can be judged is by its treatment of animals. Respect for human life starts with respect for all creatures.

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