via press release:
GANGS ROPE INNOCENT CANINES
INTO THEIR VIOLENT WORLD IN PREMIERE
OF ANIMAL PLANET INVESTIGATES: GANG DOGS
- The Abusive Life of Gang Dogs Revealed in New Tell-All Documentary on August 16th -
(Silver Spring, MD, July 23, 2010) — There is a vicious cycle to gang life marked by violence, intimidation and illegal activities. While gang members can make their own decisions to join that life, the innocent dogs they force to be pawns in their street wars cannot and become unwitting gang symbols, savage guard dogs, vicious fighters, and deadly weapons. On Monday, August 16, at 10 PM (ET/PT), Animal Planet delves into this secret and cruel sub-culture with the premiere of ANIMAL PLANET INVESTIGATES: GANG DOGS. This one-hour special documents how gangs continually corrupt their canine comrades to fit into their abusive culture and to promote their way of life.
Continuing the ANIMAL PLANET INVESTIGATES anthology series, this special investigation chronicles the gang dog culture of the nation's most feared gangs in Fresno, Calif; Columbus, Ohio; and Chicago. These dogs are forced to endure horrendous treatment and brutal training including being weighed down while chained to treadmills, pumped full of steroids, starved to make fighting weight, amateur ear cropping and sub-par treatment for their injuries. In spite of all this, these loyal dogs still love and desperately seek approval from their owners because it’s the only attention they’ve ever known.
“The ANIMAL PLANET INVESTIGATES series allows Animal Planet the opportunity to raise awareness about a wide range of hard hitting and sometimes disturbing issues at the intersection of the human and animal worlds,” says Rick Holzman, senior vice president of programming for Animal Planet Media “Hopefully, the GANG DOGS episode in conjunction with two of our other key series, Pit Boss and Pit Bulls and Parolees, will work to raise the public consciousness about this crucial animal abuse issue, encourage people to speak out, and dispel some of the perceptions of these misunderstood so-called “Bully Breeds. While some of these stories are heart wrenching to watch, it’s vital for them to be told, after all, these creatures can’t speak for themselves.”
ANIMAL PLANET INVESTIGATES: GANG DOGS documents a growing problem in neighborhoods across the country -- not only the harsh environment these dogs are forced to assimilate into, but how they are utilized within gang culture. Gangs use dogs for a variety of depraved purposes from dog fighting to settling arguments between members to a status accessory. They also serve as mascots, inspire tattoos, clothing and gang names, protect drug stashes and are even used to attack the police.
The presence of pit bulls on a property often tips-off police to gang hot spots. So other lesser known breeds, such as Rottweilers and Presa Canarios, have increased in popularity in recent years. These breeds are intensely loyal and because of their strength have a higher tolerance for the pain they are subjected to. Any dogs that are rescued from gang life are extremely lucky if they make it out alive. Unfortunately, once rescued, 99 percent of gang dogs seized from fighting rings are unable to be socialized and end up being euthanized.
While uncovering hoards of abused animals from gang infested neighborhoods and preventing the inhumane behavior from occurring is a never ending process, all hope is not lost. This special also highlights the great work of humane law officers who are helping to combat this animal abuse as well as community programs designed to show gang members that there is another way to treat their animals.
GANG DOGS is the third special in the quarterly series, ANIMAL PLANET INVESTIGATES taking a comprehensive, insider look at timely issues that impact both humans and animals.
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.