Dean Of The Pit
For Pete Sparks, the untitled “Dean of American dog fighting,” dogs are his life — and business, living alone on a small farm in Bradford County. 

“Dogs of War”
((( born to fight )))

story and photographs by stan badz  

Fighting dogs, nothing but cruel 

stan badz

something to howl about

Pete Sparks, the untitled dean of American dog Fighting,” ships the championship pit bull terriers he breeds, like the (unnamed) one above, all over the world. Chickens, mules, rabbits and a pony also keep the longtime breeder company on his Bradford County farm. See related story and photographs page 13.

Editor: We cannot imagine the sort of suspension of moral and ethical principles that must have taken place when reporter Stan Badz wrote the article titled “The Dean of the Pit” (April 1). To imply that there is some socially redeeming value in raising fighting dogs is to ignore the consequences involved.

Dog fighting is not only inhumane, it is illegal in all fifty states.

Cruelty is in herent in dog fighting. Young dogs are often trained by taunting them with kittens or stray cats. To build endurance, the dogs are often forced to run for hours on treadmills, edged on by various baits — such as racoons or bloodied wigs — dangled before them. After sufficient training, the dogs are sent into the ring. They are expected to show aggressive behavior and lose when they no longer “scratch.” To scratch, the dog must cross an imaginary line in the pit, and resume fighting. A dog fails to scratch if it is dead, unconscious, terrified, in pain, unable to move, or has jumped out of the ring.

Despite the endurance training, more than 50 percent of all dogs involved die either in the pit, or shortly thereafter from fight wounds and internal injuries.

As long as newspapers such as yours continue reporting on dog fighting in such a casual manner, this heinous crime will perpetrate itself and spread. We strongly urge you to stop glamorizing and promoting this illegal and bloody “sport,” and hope in the future you will take a position against this barbaric activity.

Cynthia L.  Bear (3AG)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Laurence Getford