The Champions: DOCUTAH film raises awareness about pit bull welfare
Photos courtesy of DOCUTAH

Snarling, a two-year-old pit bull sinks his teeth into his opponent’s neck, his jaw clenching shut, blood oozing from his jowls. The opponent, a two-year-old of same breed, yelps in pain, struggling for freedom. Her paws slide along the ground, fighting for a stern stance. Only seconds now. “Snap.” She goes limp.

“Looks like we’re on a roll, pal!” The master shouted above the hollering crowd. He tossed his pit bull a steak and kicked the losing, lifeless body out of the ring.

The Champions: DOCUTAH film raises awareness about pit bull welfare Pit bull fighting is usually looked down upon in the general public, animal lovers or not. Pitting two dogs against each other for human entertainment, money, or drugs is not the best way to pass time in my opinion. What’s worse? The loser, if not dead in the ring, usually gets shot, beaten, or tortured by the owner. Even though pit bull welfare was recognized and fighting is a felony in all 50 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, illegal fights still take place.

Michael Vick, a professional football player, created a dog fighting operation called Bad Newz Kennels. After becoming a registered dog breeder, he purchased over 50 pit bulls which were housed in Virginia. The dogs were first “tested” for performance, and those who “failed” were shot, electrocuted, hung, beaten, or drowned. The remaining dogs of course participated in fighting and breeding for money and entertainment.

The Champions: DOCUTAH film raises awareness about pit bull welfareIt wasn’t till Vick’s cousin Davon Boddie was arrested for drug charges that Vick’s property was able to be searched. Police discovered Bad Newz Kennels, and Vick was sentenced 18 months in prison.

Many asked the question, “Well what happened to the dogs?” Director and producer Darcy Dennett decided to answer this question with a DOCUTAH film in hopes of raising pit bull awareness and tell a story about second chances.

“The Champions” shows the story of the pit bulls rescued from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels fighting arena. It is an uplifting, inspirational, and of course emotional journey that any dog lover, or even non-dog-lover, will appreciate.

The Champions: DOCUTAH film raises awareness about pit bull welfare“All odds were stacked against the pit bulls rescued from quarterback Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. Forced to fight for their lives, they were considered so dangerous many wanted them euthanized. But no one could have predicted how the dogs would change the lives of those who risked everything to save them.” “The Champions”

If you are interested in watching this uplifting story, head to the Electric Theater today Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $10.

For more information about “The Champions” or to reserve tickets, click here.

For more information on dog fighting and pit bull welfare, click here.

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