- Posted September 28, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport at the movies
The Dog Fighter, a documentary
The Dog Fighter is the inspiring true story of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Gordon Shell. When a medical condition threatened to end his career as a fighter, Shell didn't back down, but continued to fight. This time, however, the fight was for a different cause: the homeless and abused dogs of Detroit.
The documentary covers the transition Shell made from MMA fighter to The Dog Fighter. Shell states “I started pushing harder since I’m a fighter and work with fighters. I think we have a bigger voice to go after the bad guys.”
Shell fought his last MMA fight on September 15, 2012. It was his birthday and he turned 43. Using the event to bring attention to the issues of dog fighting and animal abuse in Detroit, he donated the winning proceeds to the Michigan Humane Society.
According to Shell, another fight could definitely be in order, even though doctors warned him that another match could kill him. His bad heart ended his 22-year fighting career.
The Dog Fighter says “I have had some tough guys write me and say they would fight but I think we could get top dollar for the cause with a big name." The cause he refers to is his helping to get more dogs off the streets.
Is there any specific “big name” he would like to fight? Gordon Shell quickly points out that he may be retired, but he still trains at full speed. He notes he is "ready to take on Mike Vick or anyone else that represents fighting or cruelty.”
At one event, Shell wore a t-shirt with the words “Fight Me Mike Vick.” Shell finds dog fighting especially heinous. “It’s a whole different genre when you talk about dog fighting. They don’t choose to fight, and they don’t have referees and they don’t have the option to stop when they are injured.”
He well remembers when Michael Vick's dog fighting story broke. He challenged Vick to a fight, but Vick turned him down. Will there ever be a match between the man convicted of dog fighting and the man who fights for dogs? Gordon Shell hopes so. It would bring so much attention to the dogs on the streets. And the Michigan Humane Society would benefit from receiving proceeds from the fight.
In the meantime, Gordon Shell will continue to search the streets of Detroit in hopes of saving as many lives as he can of the over 50,000 homeless dogs that reside there. The documentary The Dog Fighter hopes to bring awareness to the plight of the abandoned dogs in a city that is overpopulated with them. Dogs that are hungry, scrawny and sick. The world is a tough place for these nameless, forgotten dogs and their puppies.
The Dog Fighter is directed by award-winning director Douglas Schulze and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Chuck Grady. It is produced by Kurt Mayry, independent producer for 25 years and co-founder of The Motion Picture Institute and Kathryn McDermott, producer and former Vice President of Columbia Pictures.
The proceeds from The Dog Fighter will go to the Michigan Humane Society. It is expected to be released at Thanksgiving 2012. Donations for film production can be made on The Dog Fighter Documentary page at http://www.indiegogo.com/thedogfighterdocumentary?c=home.