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July 14, 2009

"Walk for Peace" Honors Slain Man

In saving his dogs from dogfighting, Julius Burdine lost his own life

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Julius Burdine considered his pit bulls friends, not fighters. The HSUS

On June 27, faith-based leaders, their congregations and community members of the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago gathered at the 7800 block of Ada Street to take part in the second Englewood Walk for Peace.

Marchers distributed reward posters from The Humane Society of the United States encouraging community members to report dogfighting and receive a reward of up to $5,000 for the arrest and conviction of a dogfighter. 

This event was organized to honor Julius Birdine, a man who was killed for not allowing his pit bulls to be used for dogfighting, and to denounce violence in Chicago. Walk organizers were Joyce Birdine, Julius' mother; James Duke of the Liberation Christian Center; the Clergy Committed to Change organization and Tio Hardiman, special consultant to The Humane Society of the United States' End Dogfighting in Chicago campaign.

"When you consider the huge number of violent acts committed against people, it can seem easy to overlook violence against animals," Hardiman said. "We join with the Englewood community to denounce all forms of violence."

Background

  • On June 25, 2006, 26-year-old Julius Birdine was killed by a gang member who insisted that Julius fight his pit bull dogs. When Julius refused, a fight ensued and Julius was shot three times: once in the back and twice in the head. Julius left behind a wife and a young daughter.

  • Dogfighting is prevalent in many parts of Chicago and is typically associated with other crimes, such as drug dealing and human violence.

  • A three-year study released by the Chicago Police Department showed that 65% of the people charged with animal abuse crimes—including dogfighting—were also charged with violent crimes against people. Additionally, 70% of those charged with animal abuse crimes had also been charged with illegal narcotics crimes.
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