Real-life is­sue: Dog­fight­ing

Animal Scene - - ADVOCATE -

The film fea­tures flash­backs from each of the main char­ac­ters’ lives, but none as heart­break­ing as De Niro’s. Dogs used for dog­fights are of­ten bred to be fight­ers -with their bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents hav­ing been in the ring as well. They are left iso­lated, unso­cial­ized, and in­jected with an­abolic steroids or given nar­cotic drugs to in­crease their ag­gres­sion. Dogs that are found to be losers in the ring, be­ing deemed use­less, are then aban­doned or killed.

Tens of thou­sands of Amer­i­cans re­port­edly par­tic­i­pate in dog­fight­ing, as re­ported by the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals. In 2012, more than 260 pit bulls and mixed-breed dogs were saved from a dog­fight­ing arena in the Philip­pine city of San Pablo. Twenty of the pit bulls had to be eu­th­a­nized, while oth­ers were sick or in­jured, with ripped ears and tongues, based on a 2012 news ar­ti­cle pub­lished by Rap­pler. As of 2017, 88 of th­ese La­guna pit bulls re­mained un­der the care of Com­pas­sion and Re­spon­si­bil­ity for An­i­mals (CARA), just wait­ing to be adopted, as seen on Help Save the Pit Bulls web­site.

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