For many years, the rate of abuse to animals and pets has been getting higher and higher. You may wonder why people who decide to own a pet treat them so badly? What possesses them to hit them, not feed them, and leave them out in the cold? It kills me inside to know that people can neglect them so much, when they don’t do anything to deserve it. It sounds really bad, but unfortunately there are many ways people abuse their pets. One example, is the disturbing and bloody sport of dog fighting. Animals such as Pitbulls, Boxers, Beagles, and even Chickens, are bought, put in a small arena, and are trained to fight one another to the death. You may recognize the 2007 case of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. Forensic evidence which found carcasses and skeletal remains of numerous Pitbulls, helped convict the football star of operating a competitive dog fighting ring.

Websites such as the ASPCA or even your local humane society can give you information on how you can get involved in helping save these animals’ lives. They even give some good tips on how to care for your new dog or cat. Donate money, volunteer at shelters, or even adopt a pet. At Dodd, students can join the club Speaking for the Speechless which holds events to donate money to animals in need. Because animals are my passion and after losing my dog, Alice, that wasn’t even two years old yet, I hope that one day people in the world won’t treat their pets like prisoners, but like actual members of the family.

~Gabriella Amodei

March Madness Has Struck

Over the past two years, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has had many surprising upsets that keep you on your toes every second. Last season, Not a single top seeded team reached the final four. Instead it was filled by VCU, a team that was not expected to even win their first game, Butler who had a surprise run in 2010 and was back again in 2011, Kentucky who was ranked at a four and had to upset two teams to get into the final four, and Connecticut, a team that struggled during the season but won their conference tournament to earn a 3 seed in the tourney. This season (2012) had two 15 seeds knockout out 2 seeds for the first time in NCAA history. Those teams were Lehigh over Duke and Norfolk State over Missouri.The upsets keep stacking on.

This leads me to wonder if a tournament with 68 teams really helps decide what is the best team. Many of the better teams have seemed to be upset by Cinderella’s and teams that only got in because they won their conference tourney. Some conferences don’t have teams that are that good so it seems unfair that they have just as much chance to win it all as a team that has to face harder teams all year long. Teams like that have never actually won but they still have a shot and when it does happen people may argue the unfairness of the tourney. Nonetheless I enjoy watching it every year. It is still an enjoyable bunch of weekends so don’t miss it.

~Andrew Levy