Celebrity Mixed Martial Arts fighters Cung Le, Josh “the Punk” Thomson and the American Kickboxing Academy receive achievement award for their work with Kristine Crawford and For Pits’ Sake, Inc. to combat dog fighting.
Los Gatos, CA (EMWNews) August 4, 2008 — The unique structure and impact of For Pits’ Sake, Inc.’s “Knock Out Dog Fighting” program is being honored with an Achievement Award by the Animal Farm Foundation.
The Animal Farm Foundation Achievement Award is presented to individuals and pit bull dogs whose service to the community honors the human/canine bond and restores the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
“We at Animal Farm Foundation wish to thank For Pits’ Sake and the American Kickboxing Academy for their great work in exposing the callous cruelty of dog fighting,” said Jane Berkey, President of Animal Farm Foundation. “Kristine Crawford, her pit bulls Cheyenne, Dakota and Tahoe, the American Kickboxing Academy and MMA champions Cung Le and Josh “The Punk” Thomson are all heroes in the fight against animal cruelty.”
The “Knock Out Dog Fighting” program is part of an educational campaign designed by For Pits’ Sake founder Kristine Crawford to bring awareness to the abhorrent activity of dog fighting. “In the underbelly of a pet-friendly nation, where over 43 million households include dogs, the cruel and barbaric blood sport called dog fighting is alive and well,” said Crawford. It is estimated that there are 40,000 professional dog fighters in the United States and as many as 100,000 amateurs involved, including children and gang-affiliated teens.
The high-profile investigation and conviction of dog fighter Michael Vick shone a spotlight on this criminal industry, revealing unimaginable acts of cruelty toward dogs and confirming that the oft-maligned pit bull is the victim, not a willing participant in this sadistic arena.
But pit bulls aren’t the only victims. When dog fighting is condoned and even glorified by adults and role models, children become desensitized to violence and the suffering of others. In fact, research shows that there is a marked correlation between cruelty to animals and crimes against people. Crawford believes that one of the most effective ways to stop the cycle of violence is to teach young people about the proper treatment of animals.
Crawford and her pit bulls have positively influenced children all over the world through numerous programs. This new partnership with the American Kickboxing Academy, the premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training facility, will reach scores of young fans around the world who look up to these fighters and view them as role models.
“I take my responsibility as a role model very seriously,” said Undefeated MMA World Middleweight Champion Cung Le. “I love animals and I’ll do anything I can to help. Those of us that are strong need to protect those that are weaker.”
MMA World Lightweight Champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson said, “I am honored to be involved in something like this which not only brings attention to this issue but starts the process of saving lives.”
In Knock Out Dog Fighting’s first Public Service Announcement (PSA), Cung Le makes it clear that there is no comparison between the fighting arts and dog fighting. “I have a choice to step inside the cage to fight. But there are a lot of helpless animals that are not given that choice. Dog fighting is cruel and inhumane and those who engage in it are losers.”
“The Punk” gives a strong message in a PSA he did with his dog Brady: “Dog fighting is animal abuse, plain and simple. Torturing or abusing animals is not cool; nor is it a sign of being a real man. Real fighters stand up for what’s right and protect those who are unable to do so.”
The PSAs are just one part of this important campaign. Crawford, her pit bulls and the MMA champions visit schools, children’s groups, and juvenile detention centers, with the message that dog fighting is not a symbol of power, strength, or greatness. They hope that their community outreach program will shed more light on the prevalence of dog fighting and its overall effect on the community. They are determined to knock out the social acceptance of this barbaric activity.
Show your strength and help stop the abuse. To join Knocking Out Dog Fighting or for more information, go to KnockOutDogFighting.org.
About For Pits Sake, Inc. (ForPitsSake.org):
For Pits’ Sake, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been a leader in the community for both human and animal rescue efforts, safety programs for children, and humane education for over a decade. As world-famous search and rescue dogs, the For Pits’ Sake pit bulls responded to over 200 search missions including high profile cases such as the search for Laci Peterson and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The dogs are also trained therapy dogs that work with disabled and abused children. Because of the success they’ve had with their programs and activities, Crawford and her dogs have received numerous awards, including the American Red Cross Real Hero Award, a Certificate of Appreciation from the FBI, letters of appreciation from County Supervisors, CA State Senators and Assembly Members, and a letter from the Governor of CA stating that they “demonstrate the true strength of California and represent the best of the Golden State”.
About the American Kickboxing Academy (AKAkickbox.com):
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) is one of the first true Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the United States. AKA owner, Javier Mendez, is a former two-time world champion kickboxer who has become one of the premier fight trainers and is one of the most influential and respected figures in the fighting sports. AKA attracts MMA fighters from across the US and around the world that travel or who relocate to receive the world-class instruction offered at AKA. Currently, the gym provides instruction in kickboxing and Muay Thai, submission fighting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing, and wrestling, and offers an original children’s Mixed Martial Arts program. Some of AKA’s featured fighters are Cung Le, Josh Thomson, Mike Swick, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Paul Buentello, Cain Velasquez, Trevor Prangley and Bobby Southworth.
About Animal Farm Foundation (AnimalFarmFoundation.org):
Animal Farm Foundation, Inc. has been in operation since the early 1980’s making a stand against cruelty to animals. They now dedicate their efforts, through a variety of services, to the plight of the American Pit Bull Terrier, once America’s favorite dog; now, a focus of undeserved and unspeakable cruelty.
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