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Hog dog rodeos

trescanis
January 15th, 2005, 11:39 PM
American Authorities Infiltrate
a Cruel, Bloody Tradition
By Danielle Ring - daniellering@mindspring.com
www.daniellering.net



The long, dirt roads in the deep South can seem endless as they wind past untended fields and lonely houses. In the most rural of areas, the roads may lead you to tin shacks which barely contain the hell inside. Squeals reverberate off the walls; furious barking pierces the night. As you get closer, the acrid smell instinctively draws your hand to shield your nose and mouth.

Inside, a group of adults and children crowd in a semi-circle, patiently waiting for something. A man stands at a podium with a microphone, making some sort of introduction. "Angel here is a three-year-old bitch, bred and trained by Ray Jackson. She hates hogs and has a record of pinning in three seconds. Time to place your bets."

As people begin to move around, you notice a dirt-filled ring. There is a gate at one end and a chute at the other. Soon, everyone is again standing at the ring and you find a place along the front. The chute opens and a frightened hog slides through, landing with a thud. He shakes and appears to be injured. His ears and tail have tear marks and his tusks look as if they have been sawed off. The man with the dog in the pen releases the leash and in three seconds, the hog is squealing in pain as the dog's jaws latch onto his neck. Both adults and children cheer while the hog continues to scream. In a few minutes, the scene will repeat itself with another trained dog and another terrified hog.

Known as hog dog rodeos, these events have provided people with "entertainment" for at least two decades. Feral hogs are plentiful in places like South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona. Hunters use trained dogs to corner hogs in the wild; they then keep the hogs barely alive in filthy conditions. When rodeo night arrives, the hogs are dragged into the pen-defenseless after their tusks are removed with bolt cutters-to face another dog who will tear them apart. For years, this cruel tradition has been a favorite pastime for families who live nearby as well as a money-making scheme for rodeo operators.

Most people would reasonably believe that hog dog rodeos are illegal under existing animal cruelty laws. But while district courts have been eager to try hog dog operators, authorities have not had much success in the past. Charging an operator with animal cruelty requires the cooperation of the local sheriff's department. Many times, the sheriff himself is the one operating the rodeo. And so this bloody business has continued to operate just below the radar.

In the past year, reporter Mike Rush attended an Alabama rodeo and his crew secretly filmed the horror. The local NBC affiliate station featured the undercover story on the news. The story lead to the arrest of the operator, Johnnie Hayes, and convinced Louisiana Representative Warren Triche to ban hog dog rodeos in his state. Triche's law was the first to specifically address this bloodsport.

The Humane Society of the United States has been following the hog dog story for several years. In late December, they assisted authorities in several counties in uncovering and arresting the leading rodeo promoters. Seven people in three states were arrested on animal cruelty charges. More arrests are expected. At the properties, investigators found both hogs and dogs in deplorable conditions. Dogs were tied to stakes and exposed to freezing weather. The hogs lived in cramped pens, their bodies mutilated and broken.

This news is good cause for celebration among animal rights supporters. However, the test will be whether the guilty are appropriately punished. If so, their story will set a precedent and hopefully convince other rodeo operators to put an end to this cruel bloodsport.

To offer your support and gratitude for the cooperation of the local authorities, you may contact:

Chester County, South Carolina
Sheriff Robert H. Benson, phone: (803) 581-5133. Call to thank him/his office for their help in arresting Arthur Parker, his son Arthur, Jr., and Parker's wife, Mary Evans Luther. Encourage them to ensure that the threesome is convicted on animal fighting charges.

Yavapai and Maricopa Counties, Arizona
Yavapai Sheriff's Office (928) 567-7710
Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio (602) 506-8530. Call to thank them for arresting James Curry and Jodi Curry-Liesberg and let them know what you think of hog dog rodeos.

Jefferson County, Alabama
Sheriff Mike Hale (205) 325-5700. Call to thank him for his department's role in arresting Richard and Shina Landers.

Please check the Humane Society's website (www.hsus.org) in the future for news on further developments.

Lucky Rescue
January 15th, 2005, 11:55 PM
This disgusting activity - brutality to animals merely for the entertainment of a bunch of semi-human yahoos - should be put into the same category as dogfighting and be a felony. Perpetrators of this cowardly and dispicable "sport" should be imprisoned, since unfortunately we cannot decapitate them.

Makes you ashamed of being a part of the human race, no?