Animal activists speak out against dogfighting app

A screenshot of the Kage Games website / photo: Jessica Cain

Animal rights activists are speaking out against a new app that they say encourages dog fighting.

It started as a free app called "Dog Wars" in the Android market. Now it's called "KG Dogfighting" and can be bought for about $3.

The app encourages players to "raise your dog to beat the best" and allows players to train a virtual pit bull to fight other virtual dogs.

Humane Societies across the country are asking for the removal of the game, and NFL quarterback Michael Vick is also speaking out against it. Vick, who served 21 months in prison on dog fighting-related charges, called the game a "step backward."

In Central New York, SPCA Executive Director Paul Morgan says the game represents a serious problem.

"I've seen animals unfortunately come in here with missing limbs," says Morgan. "You can usually tell when animals have been in a fight, scratches and scars and everything else. There was one call we had when there were dead animals."

Morgan says in Central New York, there have been several arrests for dog fighting in recent years, but it can be hard to catch the people involved. He says the best way to deal with the problem, and the new app, is education.

"If they see their kids have this on their phone, someone should tell them this is bad for this reason. It shows animal abuse," says Morgan.

The app's developer, Kage Games , has responded to the complaints on the app's website, saying the app does not violate terms of use with the Google market. It also says "It is just a video game."

Do you think apps like this go too far? Post your comments below: