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August 21, 2012

A Dogfighting Victim’s Tragic Story Spreads the Message of Combating Cruelty

Our mission statement is short and to the point: “Celebrating Animals/Confronting Cruelty.”

Stallone, a dog rescued from fighting
Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Holding these two powerful ideas in balance is a perpetual challenge for those of us who care about animals and devote ourselves to their welfare. On one hand, there is so much cruelty to confront. On the other, animals are an incredible source of joy—whether they are our pets or the wild animals who share our landscapes.

This balance of imperatives is on my mind today because of a very special video produced by our staff. It is the most viewed video that we have ever placed on YouTube. It is also one of the saddest. It is the story of Stallone, a dog who was trapped and ultimately doomed by the scourge of organized animal fighting. It is not an easy video to watch. But it is a video that has drawn a huge audience of more than 1 million views because so many of us feel that it must be watched.

So today, let’s celebrate Stallone. For all the horrors inflicted on him by people, he paid back with a tail wag and a lick, as you can see in the video. And then, in his brave name, please join me in doubling down on our determination to confront dogfighting and other threats to animals.

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