Michael Vick


Cockfighting arenas draw criminal activity
LA - The most recent reports printed in The Advertiser show state police raided an arena near Logansport and in Tickfaw, near New Orleans, because gambling as a business is illegal. In Tickfaw, the owner "and employees were charged with illegal gambling, money laundering, racketeering and contributing to the delinquency of juveniles."
www.theadvertiser.com / July 10, 2007

Cockfighting ban ruffles some feathers
NM - Ronald Barron said for some it's a livelihood, for others it's a hobby. On June 15, cockfighting in New Mexico becomes illegal, making it the 49th state in the nation to outlaw the practice. "It's also an activity where they do a lot of illegal gambling; where nobody pays any taxes on anything that they earn. They can get $10,000, up to a $100,000, in a cockfight."
www.lcsun-news.com / Jose L. Medina / 06/05/2007

DeSoto police jurors to reconsider cockfighting ban
LA - Cockfighting reared its head in March in DeSoto Parish when a cockfighting club near the DeSoto Parish communities of Stanley and Logansport was raided. Eight people were arrested on charges ranging from illegal gambling to racketeering to drug possession.
www.shreveporttimes.com / Vickie Welborn / May 7, 2007

Opinion Senator is fighting to ban animal fighting
DC - The Humane Society of the United States wishes to thank and congratulate U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter for his efforts to stop dog fighting and cockfighting. The U.S. House of Representatives had previously cleared its version by a landslide vote of 368-39, and it is now on the president's desk.
MICHAEL MARKARIAN... Vice President, Humane Society of the United States... www.poconorecord.com / Editor, the Record: / April 27, 2007

Cockfighting's days may be numbered
LA - Crowds of spectators pack into warehouses, gather around a circular pit and watch two roosters fight it out with metal razors attached to them. Most times, that fight is to the death. While the battle rages, spectators place bets on the chickens, attempting to weigh the outcome of the match. Cockfighting is illegal in every state except Louisiana, but the days of roosters fighting for sport in a pit soon may come to an end here. In March, a ban on cockfighting in New Mexico - leaving Louisiana the only state to allow it - may have sent a message, Cravins Sr. said. U.S. Sen. David Vitter is one of many spearheading legislation to outlaw cockfighting. Recently, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. With cockfighting being identified as a possible outlet to spread the avian flu and its link to associated violent crimes and illegal gambling, we have all the more reason to crack down on this cruel and dangerous practice," Vitter said in a written statement. Sharp, metal razor spurs are attached to the legs of the birds, and two chickens are placed into a small pit, where they fight, surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of people. "I'm pretty sure there's still dogfighting around and it's illegal, so if they outlaw cockfighting, I'm sure it'll be around," he said. "It'll go underground."
www.theadvertiser.com / Kyle Jackson / 4/22/07

Congress Sends President Bush Anti-Animal Fighting Bill
DC - Critics say animal fighting... Can also spawn other criminal activity, such as illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, and gang activity.
www.foxnews.com / April 11, 2007

NRA lobbying slows bill to restrict animal fighting
DC - DC - Objections from the National Rifle Association and a hold put on the bill by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have slowed action on the measure, called the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act. The bill's proponents also argue that federal attention is necessary because cockfighting is closely associated with such national health issues as the spread of avian flu, and several other interstate crimes, including illegal gambling and narcotics trade.
www.kansascity.com / Chicago Tribune / Karoun Demirjian / Mar. 29, 2007

MU Law School trains animal abuse investigators
MO - Leading a session Tuesday about dog and cock fighting, as part of an animal cruelty investigations course, she recounted a case she worked on that involved two brothers shooting each other over a dispute involving a dog fight riding on $56,000. Part of MacDonalds [investigator] job is to stop people from holding and gambling on illegal animal fighting rings.
columbiamissourian.com / Missourian News / ASHLEY THOMAS / March 16, 2006

Senate should toughen penalties for cockfighting
SC - WERE GLAD TO SEE senators taking an interest in outlawing South Carolinas up-and-coming bloodsport of hog-dog fighting, which pits attack dogs against wild hogs whose razor-sharp tusks have been sawed off to make them practically defenseless. Promotes illegal gambling, invites political corruption and gives legitimate hunting a bad name. House to cave: Make the penalties for cockfighting, and the rules for prosecution, the same as for other animal fighting.
www.thestate.com / Feb. 28, 2006

The fight against dogfighting
MO - As a special investigator for humane law enforcement at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, MacDonald has been involved in undercover investigations of major dogfighting and cockfighting rings, as well as other animal-cruelty arrests and convictions. "You know that if it's going on in New York and Chicago, it's going on in Missouri." A few years ago I got chased out of a place on the East Side where they were holding a dogfight. In a church. As a fundraiser." Steve Kaufman, director of operations for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, said that animal fighting has become a billion-dollar business. Gassner said she is also "hearing a lot of the kids talking about corner dogfighting, where they just stand on the corner with their dogs and solicit fights." One reason law enforcement officials need to crack down on enforcing animal-fighting laws is that animal fighting is so closely related to other illegal activities, especially gambling, drugs and weapons. Dogs used for fighting suffer severe injuries and get no veterinary care. Many are starved, tortured, abandoned and killed. Even if you just suspect that illegal animal-fighting activity is going on, call your chief of police and report it, VanKavage said. Remind your law enforcement officials that animal fighting is against the law and that they need to enforce the law.
www.stltoday.com / Sarah Newman / 08/12/2005

Residents say cockfighting intertwined with area's heritage
TN - The weekly rooster battle for cockfighting enthusiasts here is more of a festive community event that local authorities don't bother to break up than an illegal blood sport. Some people placed illegal wagers...
www.wate.com / June 19, 2005

House bill would make cockfighting a felony
SC - People involved with cockfighting could face strict penalties under a House bill proposed on Tuesday. Last week, Charles Sharpe gave up his office and pleaded guilty to taking a $10,000 bribe to protect a cockfighting ring and lying to a federal officer. State Attorney General Henry McMaster said the legislation also would help his quest to crack down on dogfighting as well. Animal advocates say they have fought for tougher penalties for years, but the cockfighting industry has paid lobbyists to influence lawmakers to protect major illegal gambling revenues as well as the high-dollar sales of fighting birds.
www.thestate.com / Associated Press / JENNIFER HOLLAND / Jan. 25, 2005

No more chickens, judge orders
HI - A man described as the head of a group that ran cockfights at the Old Maui High School campus in Hamakuapoko was fined $1,000 in a court hearing Friday and ordered to no longer own fighting roosters. Glenwood Brown Sr. and four others were sentenced Friday for their parts in illegal gambling organizations. He taught his son, This is what we do. We do illegal activities on a regular basis. Each rooster would have a gaff, a sharp metal spur, attached to a leg. My family was a part of that activity for a very long time, Cooper said. I know exactly how they are carried out. Its a gambling den where a lot of money changes hands. I came to hate the idea of using animals in dogfights and chicken fights.
www.mauinews.com / LILA FUJIMOTO / December 11, 2004

Backyard brutality
IL - It's everywhere," said Varentoni, a warden with Kane County Animal Control. It's part of an increasing trend of animal fighting in farther-out, secluded areas, while the more typical urban dog fights associated with gangs continue to be a problem in Cook County, officials say. Animal fighting is part of modern gang culture, which considers owning powerful dogs a sign of machismo, police say. Gamblers looking to avoid taxes on their winnings seek out cockfights and dog fights, generating an interest that encourages others to start up more fighting rings. Officials say the problem has been rising for the last decade. In organized ring fighting, officials say, thousands of dollars in illegal gambling money can trade hands during a series of fights called a derby. That amount of money attracts other vices, which can spill out into the community, including the stealing of innocent pets. Chicago has so many dog fights that it has a special task force dedicated solely to investigating them, Johansen said. Many of the farms and homes investigated for animal fighting have children present, and, officials say, A felony conviction usually hinges on arriving during the fighting and betting, although sometimes a case can be built with a combination of circumstantial evidence including score sheets, stacks of cash, drugs and injured animals.
www.dailyherald.com / Chicago Daily Herald / Tona Kunz / 12/5/2004