Earlier this week, Florida resident Willie Bell turned down a plea deal of three years in prison for a felony charge of cruelty to animals. Not smart: Now Bell faces five years in prison, and if he's convicted, he deserves every second of it. According to police, Bell tied a 30-pound dumbbell around a dog's neck, placed the dog in the water 25 yards off shore, and forced him to swim for his life. Blackie, the 2-year-old pit bull mix, was rescued after a witness saw him struggling and called police.
When PETA heard about this case, we immediately contacted the local police department, since dogfighters often train dogs by forcing them to tread water. Fortunately, the investigation turned up no evidence of dogfighting, and Blackie is now back with his guardian, Bell's cousin, who was reportedly horrified to learn about Bell's alleged actions.
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Pit bulls are the most abused dogs in dogdom. Because of their "macho" image, pit bulls are the breed of choice for thugs, gangs, drug dealers, and dogfighters. But we can all help stop this cycle of abuse. Speak out against negative media depictions that perpetuate the image of pit bulls as fighting machines. And please, if you see an animal in danger, contact your local police department immediately.
Written by Paula Moore