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Popcorn Park Debuts 'Vinnie Van Gogh' T-Shirt To Help End Dog Fighting

Pit bull used as a bait dog in Newark was close to death when he came to Popcorn Park in February

Courtesy of Associated Humane Society/Popcorn Park Zoo
Courtesy of Associated Humane Society/Popcorn Park Zoo
by Patricia A. Miller

The pit bull pup found found abandoned in a Newark park last winter was near death when he arrived at the Popcorn Park Zoo.

Both his front legs had horrific wounds that had festered. Both his hips were broken. His right ear was gone, torn off in a dog fight where the pup had been used as a bait dog.

At first, they named him "Van Gogh," after the artist who lost an ear. But since the little dog had nothing to do with his injuries, they later softened his name to "Vinnie Van Gogh."

And thanks to the dedicated staff at Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park Zoo, months of intense medical treatment and surgeries, the pup pulled through.

"Vinnie is really getting full of himself lately," Sandy Hickman - one of the dogs primary caretakers at Popcorn Park - wrote on the organization's Facebook page.

"When he discovered that his big, handsome head had been put on a T-shirt and in typical Vinnie fashion, he went into a snorting frenzy, diving into the shirts to see what they were all about! He's quite proud of himself, but even prouder of the message that his beautiful shirt sends out."

And the message is  "Stop Dog Fighting In Its Tracks...Report Animal Abuse."

All proceeds from the sale of the Vinnie T-shirts go to the Popcorn Park's  Res-Q Fund , which is used for pay medical treatments for badly injured or ill animals. The fund was used to pay for Vinnie's extensive medical needs.

The Vinnie t-shirt is now available for purchase at at Popcorn Park. The shirts feature Vinnie's actual paw prints on the front, back and sleeve. They come in Army green and Galapagos blue. They are available in adult sizes small through XXL and are $24.95, which includes shipping and handling.

Shirts can be ordered through http://www.ahscares.org/shop/item.asp?itemid=441&catid=31, or by mail to:

Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park
Attn: Vinnie T-shirts
PO Box 43
Forked River, NJ 08731

Robert Poulson July 05, 2014 at 09:58 AM
The way we as humans treat animals is sickeningly deplorable.
Marynary July 05, 2014 at 10:35 AM
I would like to read a well researched article on dog fighting. Something that shows exactly who sponsors this awful activity. I mean we all heard about the football player, but just exactly what groups of people are actually involved on a regular basis.
Brandy the Dog July 05, 2014 at 11:17 AM
@ Marynary-www.animallaw.info/articles/ddusdogfighting.htm
Marynary July 05, 2014 at 11:56 AM
Thanks Brandy. Lots of info there. This was kind of what I was looking for as the article states "Dog fighters are violent criminals, often gang members, who conduct and attend organized fights as a forum for gambling and drug trafficking. “Drugs, gangs, dope, dogs…they all go together.” I know there have been dog fights as well as cock fights in this area but as I remember it was in the Lakewood Jackson corner of the county.
Brian Jakeway July 05, 2014 at 03:15 PM
does it come with a free Jets hat?

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