Now you see it. Now you don't.
Android pulled its highly controversial dog fighting app from the online market only two days after its launch following a barrage of criticism from animal lovers, according to ABC4 in Salt Lake City.
And America's most notorious dog fighter may well have helped end the consumer life of the "Dog Wars" app.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who served time in federal prison for running a dog fighting ring, joined the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA in their call to animal lovers to speak out against the app.
“I’ve come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street," Vick said in statement. "Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app."
The nation's two largest animal welfare groups both issued statements condemning the game.
“Android should drop ‘Dog Wars’ from its online market and join the national movement to save dogs from this violent practice," said Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS. "Because “Dog Wars” actually instructs players on how to condition a dog using methods that are standard in organized dogfighting, this game may be a virtual training ground for would-be dogfighters. Its timing and message are all wrong.”
Kage Games, the company that created the app, defends it as a spoof and say they planned to give donations to animal welfare causes. [That didn't turn out so badly for the Eagles.]
The game - which drew sharp criiticism from the head of the Los Angeles police union - allows players to feed, train and fight virtual dogs encouraging them to "raise your dog to beat the best." They can inject their dogs with steroids, bet virtual money and use a gun to fight the cops during a bust.
“Anything that in any way appears to promote or condone the serious, violent crime of dog fighting is cause for concern. This ‘game’ comes at a time when public outrage and law enforcement concern about dog fighting is at an all-time high, and the public should make this outrage known to those who promote it.." said Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty projects.
The ASPCA said "dog fighting is not a game" and described the sorrowful existance of fighting dogs who aer often forced to spend their entire lives tethered to short, heavy chains. They receive inadequate care, little socialization and often go for days without access to quality food or clean water. During fights, many die of blood loss, shock and exhaustion.
Others, those who are no longer deemed valuable are simply killed - or in Vick's case, tortured and killed.
And don't forget: Virtual activities may be legal, but real dog fighting is a felony across all 50 states.