Pass/Fail: Dogs rescued, former college football player shot

Danny Cozzi

Pass: Dogs rescued from fight circuit; shelter teaches love

As an animal lover, I am sickened when I hear about any form of animal abuse.

But now, 371 dogs federal and state authorities rescued late last month are being trained to love rather than fight.

Authorities busted what they believe to be the second-largest dog fighting ring in the United States, rescuing dogs from Alabama, Mississppi, Georgia and Texas, according to CNN.

The dogs are receiving medical treatment for wounds and illnesses they succumbed to while in the circuit, and are being tended to by trainers to learn behaviors in order for the dogs to be adopted.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is housing the dogs in an air-conditioned warehouse, where they await training and hopefully adoption in the near future.

But, adoption and a brighter future for many of the dogs is likely a long way off. Most of them learned only violence and aggression from their original owners, and might not be able to overcome that psyche. My family has rescued a few animals, and even the mildly neglected animals require time to understand trust again.

CNN reported many dogs are so afraid of everything some of their cages have signs reading, “I’m FEARFUL, please go slowly.”

I can’t imagine the shock of being raised in violence then being taken somewhere completely foreign, even if it’s to safety.

The good news here is the dogs’ suffering is over, even if they aren’t aware of it. They can now be cared for and trained by people who aren’t looking to score a profit from putting them in dangerous situations.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimated there are more than 40,000 dogs still imprisoned by fighting circuits. For now, at least, we can celebrate 371 rescued dogs.

Fail: North Carolina policeman kills former college football player

North Carolina police have shot and killed a former college football player from Florida A&M University.

Jonathan Ferrell, 24, was shot “several times,” according to CNN, and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Ferrell was unarmed, and possibly was only seeking help from police after he had gotten into a serious late-night car accident.

CNN reported Ferrell ran toward police, to which they responded by shooting Ferrell with a stun gun, but were “unsuccessful.” Randall Kerrick, the officer responsible for Ferrell’s death, apparently took that to mean the next appropriate action was to shoot Ferrell with his handgun.

I doubt Kerrick intended to kill anyone, and wouldn’t assume a police officer would purposely do this.

Kerrick has been charged with voluntary manslaughter, and was released on $50,000 bond after turning himself in following Ferrell’s death.

But, Kerrick, as well as two other officers present at the shooting, have been placed on paid leave. Had Kerrick not reacted so irrationally, Ferrell would still be alive.

Pending prosecution, Kerrick may not have been fit to work for the department.Police officers generally undergo training to avoid tragedies exactly like this.

Unfortunately, Kerrick jumped to action too quickly, which resulted in Ferrell’s death. Had he not assumed Ferrell intended to harm him or his fellow officers, the events of that night would have unfolded much differently.