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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Are "Knocking Out Dog Fighting"

Courtesy of Knock Out Dog Fighting:

For Pits' Sake, Inc. has teamed up with Mixed Martial Arts fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy to "Knock Out Dog Fighting" by teaching kids that it is not a symbol of strength, power, or greatness to abuse or fight animals.

San Jose, CA (June 11, 2008) -- Josh "The Punk" Thomson, Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight Champion, speaks out against dog fighting with a new PSA as part of the "Knock Out Dog Fighting" campaign by For Pits' Sake, Inc. He will be fighting for the Strikeforce World Lightweight Championship title on June 27, 2008 at 8:00pm at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.

This is the second PSA completed by world class Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters who are demonstrating that they are champions in and out of the ring by joining For Pits' Sake to knock out dog fighting. Champion Josh Thomson wanted to provide a positive role model for children and appears in the PSA with his English bulldog Brady. He gives a strong message: "Dog fighting is animal abuse, plain and simple. Torturing 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 "Knock Out Dog Fighting" program is part of an educational campaign by For Pits' Sake which has gained momentum in the wake of widespread media coverage of the Michael Vick case which brought never before seen attention to the barbaric activity of dog fighting. As horrific as the details in the Vick investigation were, they
showed us the pit bull as what he really is...a victim. The investigation and conviction of Michael Vick gave the American public a glimpse of the sadistic world of dog fighting. We learned that dog fighters not only force these animals to fight to the death, many also engage in violence against the dogs by means of electrocution, strangulation, kicking, and other unimaginable acts of cruelty.

In addition to the other illegal activities that go on at these events, dog fighting affects more than the animals. Dog fighters or spectators often involve their children in dog fighting. Sadly, this desensitizes children to violence and the suffering of others not only from the exposure, but also because dog fighting is condoned and even glorified by adults and role models. They are taught to believe that it is okay to inflict the cruelties they observe and that dog fighting is an acceptable form of recreation.

For Pits' Sake founder Kris 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. This type of education can create a cycle of a different sort: a cycle of compassion. "Through the many activities I've done with my pit bulls Cheyenne, Dakota, and Tahoe - we have been able to teach and influence children all over the world. However, there are some segments that we just cannot reach. That's why we have recruited the American Kickboxing Academy, the premier Mixed Martial Arts training facility, to help. Many children look up to these fighters and view them as role models. In addition to the PSAs, we visit schools and children's groups to teach children that it is not a symbol of power, strength, or greatness to abuse or torture animals."

The first PSA by Cung Le, Undefeated World Champion MMA Middleweight Title Holder and Undefeated World Light Heavyweight San Shou Champion, makes it clear that there can be 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 who are not given that choice. Dog fighting is cruel and inhumane and those who engage in it are losers."

For Pits' Sake and the participating members of the American Kickboxing Academy hope that their community outreach program will shed more light on the prevalence of dog fighting, its' overall effect on the community, and will knock out the social acceptance of this activity. Their goal is to end the violence of dog fighting because the real victim of dog fighting is society.

Help stop the abuse. Show your strength and join us in Knocking Out Dog Fighting! For more information and to obtain broadcast version of Josh's PSA, go to www.KnockOutDogFighting.org.

About For Pits' Sake, Inc. (www.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, humane education and safety programs for children for over a decade. The For Pits' Sake pit bulls, Cheyenne, Dakota, and Tahoe, were world-famous search and rescue dogs who responded to over 200 search missions including high profile cases such as the search for Laci Peterson and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The For Pits' Sake girls have received numerous awards, including the American Red Cross Santa Clara Valley Real Heroes award, a Certificate of Appreciation from the FBI as well as a letter from the Governor of California stating that they "demonstrate the true strength of California and represent the best of the Golden State." Cheyenne, Dakota & Tahoe are also trained therapy dogs and now spend their time teaching safety programs at schools and to children's groups, working with physically and mentally challenged children and also battered and abused children.

About Josh Thomson

Josh is a Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight Champion. Josh resides in San Jose, California with his dog Brady and trains at the American Kickboxing Academy. He has fought in Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championships, America's UFC, the World Fighting Alliance, and currently fights for Strikeforce. Josh will be fighting for the Strikeforce Lightweight title on June 27, 2008 at 8:00pm at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. The fight will be aired live on HDNet. On Friday June 13, 2008, HDNet will be giving fans an all access, behind the scenes look at the lives and training camps of Josh and his opponent during a special 30-minute program at 12am EST/9pm PST. "Unfiltered: Melendez vs Thomson" follows both world class fighters as they prepare for what is arguably the biggest MMA battle of their lives and a fight that will determine supremacy in the sport's 155lb division.

About the American Kickboxing Academy (www.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, 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.

Contact Information
Jennifer Miller
Knock Out Dog Fighting
For Pits' Sake, Inc.