June 27, 2009
Englewood 'Walk for Peace' to Honor Man Killed for Standing Against Dogfighting
CHICAGO — Faith-based leaders, their congregations and community members of the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago gathered this morning at the 7800 block of Ada St. 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 an up-to-$5,000 reward 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 consist of 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 one considers 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."
- 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 percent of the people charged with animal abuse crimes — including dogfighting — were also charged with violent crimes against people. Additionally, 70 percent of those charged with animal abuse crimes had also been charged with illegal narcotics crimes.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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.