Swine slammer: I guess his being uneducated on the subject is why Todd Spivak looks like a jackass ["Hog Wild," August 24]. I'm a hog remover. I get rid of the pesky, pain-in-the-ass, dangerous animals so pencil-pushing dumbasses like Spivak don't have to get their hands dirty. I remove hogs from unwanted properties and neighborhoods, along with parks and playgrounds -- that's right, playgrounds where little kids play. Eighty percent get donated to charity organizations such as homeless shelters or drug rehab programs; you people who live in the city have way too many things to do besides help the needy. When you can match the meat donations we give every two weeks, then I will quit stabbing and killing all those hogs. By the way, I'm leaving now to go slam some swine. Thank you, and always remember, a dead hog is a good hog.
Bad ol' boys: "Feral pigs are ugly, destructive and mean. Some people in Texas just love to trap, stab or shoot them. Or put them in rodeos. With dogs." Need I point out the obvious? There is no earthly way those poor dumb beasts could be uglier (or dumber) than the two-legged ones tormenting them for their own amusement. This plays into every damn offensive, barbaric, redneck stereotype that's ever been portrayed in the media: Texas "good ol' boys" at their worst. And these people bring small children to these events? Should they really be breeding? Forget cats and dogs -- it's rednecks we need to spay and neuter.
Uninformed: You appear to be a very uninformed person, because I've been to hundreds of bayings -- they were never called hog-dog rodeos! The media made up that word! -- and haven't seen hogs get really tore up, other than getting bit hard from the behind. Hogs are tough animals -- far tougher than cattle in many ways, and very intelligent. You're just making this worse than it seems to be. Are you aware that when the Texas Parks and Wildlife machine-gunned the hogs, they didn't exactly go out there and count them? One of my friend's friends was there and counted a total of two dead hogs and a lot of wasted gasoline for the helicopters. Hogs aren't dumb. Once they hear machine guns, they head for shelter same as people do.
As for your referring to Catahoulas and black-mouth curs as mixed, that's not so. Catahoulas tend to be registered and never were mixed. Black-mouth curs are starting to get registered. It is true that some people cross-breed the two but then call that mixed breeds, but Catahoulas and black-mouth curs stand by themselves.
You mentioned the fact that a dog wasn't interested in a hog. Most likely, you were watching the puppy bay. Those are for beginner pups, not experienced dogs.
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As for the hog getting tore up, imagine hogs ramming pregnant cows just to get them to abort so they could eat their babies and afterbirths, costing the rancher a lot of money. That happened to a rancher who hired a hog-dog hunter to get rid of the hogs. That rancher lost about 85 percent of his livestock crop to hogs that year. So bleeding hearts need to learn that where they get their food from is the same area where wild hogs roam.
Feeling their pain: I want to thank Todd Spivak for his wonderful story describing the blatant animal cruelty that goes on at hog-dog rodeos. You certainly did your homework, and it's important that the public knows what kind of animal cruelty takes place in our backyards. It's ironic that one of the hunters in the article calls himself an animal lover yet goes on to declare that "a hog doesn't feel pain." This type of ignorance is what will continue to perpetuate the cycle of violence toward animals. What I found most disturbing in the article were some of the quotes from parents and especially their children, who not only watch but enjoy participating in this form of cruelty. Thank you again for your eye-opening story. Please cover more animal-cruelty issues, as no one else has the courage to do so.
Kristen Lee Ohanyan
President and founder, Society of PEACE