January 30, 2009
Atlanta Religious Leaders Join with The HSUS to Condemn Violence of Dogfighting
ATLANTA — Today, a contingent of ministers joined The Humane Society of the United States at a roundtable discussion on the social ill of dogfighting. The religious leaders attended to publicly denounce dogfighting and pledge to help combat the crime in Atlanta’s communities.
This event is part of the community outreach component of The Humane Society of the United States’ End Dogfighting in Atlanta campaign. The program strikes at the core of urban dogfighting by using proven preventative methods such as youth anti-violence intervention, dog training classes, humane education, community outreach and law enforcement partnerships.
“Dogfighting is a cruel crime that hurts the communities in which it exists in addition to the dogs and people directly involved,” said Rev. Ralph Hawthorne, community organizer for The HSUS’ End Dogfighting in Atlanta campaign. “The goal of the End Dogfighting in Atlanta campaign is to root out this blood sport from our communities.”
Participants signed a pledge defining the responsibility of religious leaders to address animal cruelty and dogfighting in their community. It reads as follows:
As a leader in the Atlanta religious community, I pledge:
To acknowledge dogfighting as a problem in our community that breeds violence and speak out against it as necessary;
To educate youth about the dangers of dogfighting;
To highlight the responsibilities of people of faith to act as stewards of God’s creatures.
Dogfighting is a crime that affects communities throughout the United States. A three-year study by the Chicago Police Department determined that 70 percent of people charged with animal crimes, including dogfighting, were also charged with other felonies including drug trafficking and aggravated battery.
Through the Animals & Religion program, The Humane Society of the United States carries our mission — celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — to religious communities who share our principles of mercy and compassion. Find out more about our religious outreach at humanesociety.org/religion.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.