Regardless of what medium you chose to get your news, you have heard of the Michael Vick case. The alleged accusations are extreme and absolutely despicable. The media has bombarded the public with what could happen to Vick if found guilty, but how will the case effect dogs throughout the country? The most obvious answer would be the public awareness to such activities, which could have positive effects to prevent these types of gambling rings. Unfortunately, when one looks deeper, there may be further implications for man’s best friend.
Dog breeds listed as “dangerous” are becoming more difficult to insure every year. Many municipalities, including our agency’s home state of Pennsylvania also require a “violent” dog to be bonded (see: PA Dept. of Agriculture). Some governments requiring a bond will put the animal to sleep if a bond can not be provided. I am not saying that these requirements should be revoked, as no one wants a potentially dangerous dog in their neighborhood. However, every dog bite case is not clearly black & white. Often times, an otherwise calm dog may be provoked into attacking out of self defense. Clearly a dog that is trained to fight can not live, as that can only cause trouble. My concern lies with the dogs that are not a danger to the public and may have been forced into a scenario by humans that made it act out.
The Michael Vick case has no doubt opened the eyes of many to ongoings of the underground dog-fighting world. Bonds guaranteeing a dog will not bite again are difficult to underwrite, as there isn’t detailed statistics on what is a good risk for a surety to take. The SFAA (Surety & Fidelity Association of America) does not accurately track this line of business as a whole, as it makes up a small portion of surety premium volume and is very far out of the realm of typical surety guarantees. Will the publicity Vick brought to the world of dog fighting make insurance and bond carriers more cautious when approving a policy? If so, it could mean additional dogs will be put to death due to lack of required insurance and bonding.
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