Valentine’s Day of 2019 and again in March 2021, the ASPCA published press releases thanking Sens. Kamala Harris and Susan Collins and Reps. Judy Chu and John Katko for introducing and re-introducing the HEART (Help Extract Animals from Red Tape) Act, which would enable pitbulls seized from dogfighters to be adopted faster. “Animals who have been rescued from cruelty and abuse deserve to be placed in loving homes as soon as it is safely possible,” Sen. Collins said in one release. “Based on recommendations by the Department of Justice’s Animal Cruelty Roundtable, the HEART Act would reduce the minimum amount of time animals must be held in shelters…” Sen. Collins based her statement on recommendations rather than research. Here’s what a little googling reveals: The ASPCA knows pitbulls have been inbred for hundreds of years. The ASPCA also knows dogfighters dope their dogs with anabolic steroids. With that in mind, here are three reasons it’s time to cancel the ASPCA.
Reason 1: Dogfighters Pump Their Pitbulls Full of Anabolic Steroids That Encourage Aggressiveness
The ASPCA knows dogfighters inject their pitbulls with anabolic steroids. This fact is mentioned in several places on the ASPCA’s website:
- A Closer Look at Dogfighting: “The conditioning of dogfighting victims may also make use of a variety of legal and illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Narcotic drugs may also be used to increase the dogs’ aggression, increase reactivity and mask pain or fear during a fight.”
- The Criminal, Underground World of Dogfighting: “They are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness.”
- We Need to Break the Chain on Dogfighting (written by ASPCA CEO Matt Bershadker): “They are regularly conditioned with drugs, including anabolic steroids, to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness.”
- What Is Dog Fighting, and What Can You Do To Stop It? “The conditioning of fighting dogs may make use of a variety of legal and illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Narcotic drugs may also be used to increase the dogs’ aggression, increase reactivity and mask pain or fear during a fight.”
What information is repeated in each of those bullet points? Anabolic steroids encourage aggressiveness.
“Anabolic steroids cause long-standing changes in the brain,” Sanna Kailanto, PhD, Senior Researcher for the National Institute for Health and Welfare, reported for the A-Clinic Foundation, which aims to prevent and reduce “substance abuse and mental health issues as well as other social and health-related issues.” Which areas of the brain do anabolic steroids affect? “[C]entres that regulate mood, sexuality and aggression,” Kailanto wrote. “It is known that anabolic steroid abuse in high doses may impair a number of organs and functions, causing both physical and psychological illnesses. It is noteworthy that many of these symptoms are found to be long-lasting even after discontinuation of using these compounds. Large doses have been demonstrated to induce programmed cell death in many cell types, including neuronal cells. This may result in irreversible changes in the nervous system.” Harrison G. Pope Jr., MD, co-director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, found that “[t]he body can never be rid of them because users are typically injecting long-acting steroids regularly throughout their cycle. As a result, there’s never a break. The body has no moment to rest from the effects. That is quite different from most drugs that are abused. And that’s why we worry that steroids might have unique forms of toxicity that we don’t typically see with other drugs of abuse.”
In a study that WebMD shared, Northeastern University researcher Jill M. Grimes found that “hamsters given daily, high doses of anabolic steroids throughout adolescent development were more overtly aggressive in their interactions with other hamsters — especially if they were not used to dealing with other hamsters.” This is how pitbulls are raised:
To study the effect of anabolic steroids on hamsters, Grimes injected six preadolescent male hamsters with steroids for a month. “The doses mimicked a ‘heavy use’ regimen that an adolescent athlete might follow,” WebMD said. Six hamsters “with low-aggression tendencies” received no steroid injections.
At the end of the month, Grimes placed a hamster that didn’t receive anabolic steroid injections into the cage of a hamster that did. During 10-minute observation periods, Grimes counted the number of “attacks and bites, including wild pursuits, lunges, and ‘cornering’ with intent to bite,” WebMD said. “As her previous tests have shown, animals treated with anabolic steroids were significantly more aggressive — making more attacks and bites than their littermates. One-half of the steroid-treated hamsters scored more than 20 total attacks. They were also quicker to attack, and stayed at it longer.”
Four months after roid rage began trending in the news in 2007 because WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife, his 7-year-old son and himself, ABC NEWS in Australia reported the results of a study on athletes who’d taken anabolic steroids in East Germany in the ’70s and ’80s. “None of the athletes had known that they were taking anabolic steroids,” the site said. Twenty-five percent of the athletes got cancer. Many of their children suffered birth defects. Two-thirds of the athletes cut themselves or harmed themselves in other ways. Some attempted suicide. A study of 700 athletes revealed mental health problems among anabolic steroid users as well.
“Every doping agent, every doping pharmaceutical has side effects. We see that very clearly,” said Humboldt University Associate Professor Giselher Spitzer. “Many athletes, or many body builders for example, fitness athletes, say, ‘It is my body, and I’ll do what I want’. It is not the truth, it’s not only your body, it is the second generation, and we don’t know what will be of the third generation.”
Another Reason It’s Time to Cancel the ASPCA: The ASPCA Knows Pitbulls Have Been Inbred for Hundreds of Years and Inbreeding Causes Behavioral Problems in Dogs
During the 2007 Michael Vick investigation, NPR reported that dogfighting originated in 43 A.D. with the Romans. “Historical accounts date as far back as the 1750s, with professional fighting pits proliferating in the 1860s,” the ASPCA says on its own website. That same page mentions bloodlines: “There are many reasons people are drawn to dogfighting. The most basic is greed. Major dogfight raids have resulted in seizures of more than $500,000, and it is not unusual for $20,000 – $30,000 to change hands in a single fight. Stud fees and the sale of pups from promising bloodlines can also bring in thousands of dollars.” That being said, the ASPCA knows dogfighters and people breeding pitbulls for them use rape stands to force the dogs to breed these bloodlines. The ASPCA even displayed a rape stand at the Crime Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2013. In October 2017, the ASPCA rescued 36 pitbulls from “Operation Bloodline,” an investigation that began that March. Many dogfighters are busted with Ancestry.com-like charts chronicling the lineage and breeding histories of their dogs. The internet is full of kennels outlining pitbulls’ history, from who owned a particular pitbull to the dog that pitbull was bred with and the results of that breeding. For example, “Vernon Jackson had a dog that he purchased from Don Mayfield that he called Hank,” APBT World states. “He was inbred Mayfield Lightning II blood. Hank didn’t start till he was 3 years old, but when he did; he not only turned out to be a phenomenal performer but an exceptional producer as well.”
A lengthy list of dogfighting bloodlines can be found here, by googling the phrase Gr Ch or by searching for names like:
- BOUDREAUX’ ELI, who “is without question one of the most famous of modern dogs from the 60’s era. He and his sons Eli Jr. (sire of Gr. Ch. Art.-grandsire of Chinaman, Stompanato, Crenshaw’s Ch. Rascal etc.) and Bullyson (sire of Ch. Honeybunch, Midnight Cowboy and Chivo, Loposay’s Buster etc.) were used to create lines of their own and those in turn have spawned even more good lines of bulldogs. There is hardly a line of good dogs today that cannot trace its lineage back to the Eli dog. He was a product of inbreeding on Boudreaux’ old Blind Billy dog (Dibo X Minnie) with some Trahan’s Rascal (Dibo’s half brother) blood thrown in, both good Tudor/Corvino bred dogs. I believe Mr. Boudreaux is still producing some fine dogs and I have talked to dog men who wouldn’t have one from anyone else.”
- GR. CH. BUCK ROM
- GR. CH. VIRGIL ROM
- GR. CH. ANGUS
- GR. CH. ZEBO ROM
- GR. CH. BANJO ROM
- GR. CH. YELLOW BUCK
- GR. CH. MAYDAY ROM
- GR. CH. VIRGIL
- GR. CH. TORNADO
- CRENSHAW’S CH. RASCAL
- WILLIAMS’ CH. PALADIN
- GARNER’S CH. CHINAMAN ROM
- CH. TERMITE ROM
- CH. JEEP ROM
- CH. EL DIABLO NEGRO
- CH. BUTCHER BOY
- CH. JOCKO
- CH TAZ ROM
- CH. HONEYBUNCH ROM, who “was blessed with the amazing ability to bestow upon her offsprings [sic] her own ability to preform [sic] as well as produce. HONEYBUNCH was easy to breed, produce large litters of puppies ad [sic] raised most of them. This trait coupled with the uncanny ability to reproduce her likeness, has proclaimed her the greatest producer of all times.”
In addition to dogfighters and people breeding pitbulls for them, the internet is full of people discussing whether it’s okay to inbreed fathers with daughters, mothers with sons and granddaughters with grandfathers, etc.
As ScienceABC states, “Inbreeding is the mating and production of an offspring between individuals who are genetically closely related and share a common ancestor.” Inbreeding not only causes health problems and disabilities, but it can cause temperament issues, as petkeen.com, which is overseen by a veterinary review board, states. “Puppies that are the product of inbreeding tend to have more nervousness, aggression, and unpredictability than those outbred.” Vetinfo.com echoes this: “Dogs that are inbred are sometimes much more aggressive than their mixed breed counterparts. This can result in behavioral problems including biting, chasing cars and other animals, escaping and playing too roughly, among many others.”
Pitbull advocates claim man-biters were culled [killed] to prevent them from having puppies that would grow up to become man-biting/man-mauling/man-killing pitbulls, but this, like the nanny dog myth, is a lie. “A person who had direct experience of Honeybunch’s incredible biting strength is Rex B. Rex the judge of one of her matches,” Central Coast Kennels states. “Whilst Irish Jerry was separating the two dogs by unfanging them with a breaking stick Honeybunch locked onto Rex’s thumb. The Good old Mountain Man had to replace Rex as a judge. Rex on the other hand, not the type of person to complain suffered in silence with the understanding of why the Hispanics call the thumb ‘the fat finger.'”
The Third Reason It’s Time to Cancel the ASPCA: Like Dogfighters, Greed Drives the ASPCA’s Decisions
The ASPCA has made bad decisions since at least the 1970s. Many people would include the 2009 euthanization of a pitbull named Oreo, who “became something of a celebrity,” a Los Angeles Times blogger wrote, after her 19-year-old owner beat her and threw her from the roof of his six-story apartment building, but the ASPCA used to understand that some dogs are too aggressive to be adopted. The ASPCA euthanized Oreo, stating the pitbull had become aggressive toward humans and other dogs and it would be cruel to send her to a no-kill sanctuary such as Pets Alive, which volunteered to take her, so she could spend the rest of her life in solitary confinement. In response, Pets Alive’s executive co-director urged supporters to stop donating to the ASPCA, and pitbull advocates across the country signed a petition to remove ASPCA CEO Ed Sayres.
The Oreo incident taught the ASPCA a valuable lesson — literally: Don’t piss off pitbull advocates.
After Sayres stepped down years later, the ASPCA turned pro-pitbull, particularly the Oreo-colored kind, in just about every photo op with new CEO Matthew Bershadker:
Today, as the ASPCA cons politicians into repealing pitbull bans, as dogfighting increases across the country and as the number of people and pets being mauled and killed by pitbulls increases, the ASPCA rakes in millions, with CEO Matthew Bershadker taking home nearly $1M per year himself.
If pitbulls make such great family pets, “noted for their affection and loyalty,” per Matthew Bershadker’s 2018 tweet directed at Delta Airlines, why did his family adopt a lab?
Because pitbulls are okay for your children, not his.