I nominated the Urban Animal Alliance (UAA) as the September Charity of the Month because I believe the key to eradicating dog fighting in our society lies in education. I first became aware of the UAA on facebook as I was following (like many other people) the story of the little Newark pit bull that had been starved and dumped down a garbage chute.
Even though I have been involved in animal rescue for many years, I had never had any experience with pit bulls. As I began to research groups that were working with pits I came across the UAA. After reading their story and watching their video “Stop Fighting the Dogs” I knew I wanted to get involved.
The UAA is a 501( c) that goes into schools and organizes entertainment events in inner cities to reach out to young people in an attempt to put an end to dog fighting. In one of my conversations with Jeff Hanc, Managing Director of the UAA, I was surprised to hear that many of the children the UAA works with have never had any exposure to dogs as pets. He told me that many children in inner cities have only ever seen junk-yard dogs or fighting dogs and are surprised when the UAA brings a pit bull to their school that they can pet and play with.
K Lethal and Lady Bishop performing at Hounds on the Sound
Save-A-Pet festival in Port Jefferson, NY in June 2011
This is what Jeff has to say about the organization: “The reality we face today: dog fighting and other inner-city animal abuses are at higher levels than ever before -- a problem that affects both animals and humans alike. Think of it this way: if today's children are tomorrow's leaders, and today's inner city children are largely desensitized to the suffering and cruelty of our closest animal companions, what does this mean for the future of our communities?"
K Lethal and Lady Bishop with Pitties
"Stop Fighting the Dogs."
"Many of our members come from some of the toughest ghettos of America, and have seen first- hand how seemingly 'prankish' acts of violence against pigeons or squirrels can lead to cruelty against cats and dogs, and potentially an interest in dog fighting. And that's just the beginning: from there, such a desensitized and violent person can easily expand his target of cruelty to other people. It's a verifiable and violent cycle that has never been properly prioritized and one that needs to be addressed immediately."
K Lethal, Lady Bishop, and record producer J*Roc
"The dream we envision: We envision serving as a community resource for information on animal rights, bringing animal cruelty prevention programs to schools in urban American, and motivating children and the communities in which they live to create a safer more compassionate environment for animals and children.
We envision a world in which the animals of our community are treated with kindness, love and respect, a world which will help foster generations of positive, empowered, life-affirming children, and a world in which it will be cool to be kind, not cruel."
K Lethal getting kissed by a Pittie
"The plan of action: To bring focus, attention and action to the problems of animal abuse in America's inner cities and suburbs via community outreach 'edutainment' events. We offer educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and special events designed to entertain children, enlighten them about animal cruelty, empower them to positions of ethical leadership and peer mentoring, and inspire them to treat all animals compassionately and humanely now and forever.”
I hope that in addition to supporting UAA as EFA’s charity of the month, everyone will take a moment to get to know this charity. They are a start-up organization in need of any help they can get.