The Story of Dog Fighting and Redemption

Recording Editorial History
6 min readMay 17, 2019

for Marley

I am giving a serious warning, especially for those of us who love dogs: many of the images on display within this piece are extremely disturbing. Some of them are sickening, enraging–I saw things both here and among the pictures I chose to bypass that will never leave my mind, ever. Please, if you cannot function in a world where cruelty such as this happens, I urge you, stop right here after the following picture of my beautiful dog:

This is Marley, now five years old, today a fat, lazy, happy thing. We adopted her two years ago, then a traumatized creature, scared of us and scared of everything. She was/is deeply affectionate and desperate to be loved. She will climb on you like a lap dog and roll over to have her belly rubbed like the submissive canine lady she has become. She is nearly 100 pounds.

Now Marley has a difficult background, a combination Boxer, Border Collie, and other unresolved breeds that the animal shelter where we found her did know. All they knew is that where she was formerly living in North Carolina, her life consisted of this:

This grotesque practice is practiced by some of the worst people in the world

should break everyone’s heart. But it doesn’t.

This is what triumphant dog fighters look like after a victory. Since Marley is still alive, there is no doubt that she has killed other dogs. She has scars all over her body. She cannot stand other dogs and one time she got off her leash while manically barking at a neighbor’s dog. Within two seconds she had tackled this large, mean other dog, and was snapping at his throat. I was fast enough and influencial enough with Marley that nothing other than this happened. Anyway, the winners:

and the losers:

Now of course most of these dogs are Pit Bulls, a gracious, affectionate and loyal breed who happen to be very strong, a little skittish, and so protective of both their space and their families that they have developed a reputation they do not deserve. People fear them. Hell, even Judge Judy, a lover of dogs, turns a blind eye to a case of dog mischief if a Pit Bull is involved. It is of course the people who cause this violence, who inspire the viciousness in the same way terrible, abusive parents make monsters out of their children.

We can look at these pictures, cover our mouths and even tear up and cry, but that is not the way to end such things. People react the same way to war, to capital punishment, to random gunfire in the streets, car crashes, abortion, a fight with your mother, a sad TV show–any other thing that seems important to you based upon your experience, your politics, your religious or moral beliefs. All of those issues have different sides–mom thinks she’s right and you think she’s wrong, for example, and often those problems are never resolved. But something so outright and unacceptable as animal abuse needs to end. We need to eliminate not just a criminals guilty of these crimes against caninity, but the very desire for cruelty against our loyal friends and family members.

Remember this piece of shit?

Michael Vick, the former star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. He was once the face of the NFL. This is what he went to prison for:

These are actual images of the dogs Vick had at his pit (although the last one looks photoshopped, but fuck Michael Vick). And yet, after only a year and a half, he was released from prison. Shortly thereafter he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to be their starting quarterback, despite protests (perhaps the prime example of how little regard the NFL has for the health of anyone. Yes, I am talking about their indifference to the effects of repeated concussions, the suicides and crippling, culminating with a man who became little more than a pit dog himself, Aaron Hernandez:

Dogs will always love you if you treat them well. They will listen listen to you when it seems like everyone else in the world is arguing. They even understand. These are not dumb animals, but deeply emotional, empathetic beings who are just as capable of joy and love as they are capable of the most horrifying violence. Please, please help save abused dogs–abused animals of every type. They never did anything to you, and they know how to appreciate your generousity. Here are some contacts:


North Shore Animal League America

AKC Rescue Network

And outside of the United States:

If you aren’t both appalled and pissed off by now then you deserve similar treatment. Perhaps a mutual experience will cause you to realize just how terrible such indifference makes the world. Just remember, no one is irredeemable if they are capable of learning compassion.