Dog Tagging

October 13, 2009 at 3:03 am 3 comments

We heard about a disturbing new trend in gang violence from a story published on BakersfieldNow earlier this month:

OILDALE, Calif. — A puppy was recently found tagged with red spray paint in an alley off Chester Avenue.

The puppy was found across from Sam Lynn Ballpark with the letters “O-A-E” sprayed on her side and a red strip sprayed down her back.

Michelle Lyon met the puppy Tuesday night when her neighbor brought her home.

“It’s appalling,” Lyon said. “We have so many animals dumped all the time, and we have so many graffiti problems in this area, and now we have them both in the same thing.”

Some people who live in the area where the puppy was found said this is the new trend in gang tagging. They said they see dogs and cats walking around with spray paint on them all the time.

Those residents spoke on condition of anonymity, because they said they fear the gang members responsible for the graffiti. They said the gang members tag animals to mark their territory.

Officials with the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County sheriff’s and animal control departments said they’re unaware of the problem. They said, however, that they wouldn’t expect to hear about it because of the fear of gangs.


Graffiti is as old as the written word and it’s a common sight in cities all over the world.  And dealing with problems like graffiti is a part of life for people that live in neighborhoods plagued by gang activity.  But until recently –  living creatures weren’t targets for these assaults defacement.

According to Alex Alonso (Gang Graffiti on the City Landscape), gang graffiti functions as a way to communicate sentiments, express group identity, and to dictate rules of their socially constructed places.  Alonso states:

Those who understand these spatial conquests of the landscape are able to identify the social and spatial order of a community. This even applies to non-gang youths of an area, who take it upon their own initiative to understand and respect these socially claimed places in an effort to safeguard themselves and to stay clear of gang conflict.

Imagine having gang members tag your pet with the signs they use to mark their territory.  Claiming a living member of your family as part of their turf.   The unfortunate people – and animals – who live in areas afflicted by gang activity live in a constant state of fear.  Threats and violence are a regular part of their daily existence.  It’s like living in a war zone.  And the problem is just getting worse…

The US Department of Justice reports:

Twenty years ago, fewer than half our cities reported gang activity. A generation later, 95 percent of our largest cities and 88 percent of smaller cities suffer gang-related crime. Eighty-nine percent of all cities recently reported that their gang problem was the same or getting worse. In one recent year, gangs committed more than 580,000 serious crimes.

These crimes exact a toll of tremendous physical and emotional pain from individuals, families, and entire communities. We are learning more about gangs and their activities, but know little about the individuals whose lives they so quickly and tragically change–the victims and survivors of gang violence. These victims face additional, special problems not confronted by most other crime victims.

There is one bit of good news in this story.  The tagged puppy, who was a stray, has found a new home.  But, like many other cities, Bakersfield’s gang problems continue to escalate.

Entry filed under: dogs. Tags: , .

Every Dog Should Have a Boy Great Expectations

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bluntobject  |  October 13, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I can understand tagging as a way to mark territory. I don’t like it, but at least it gives me a way to figure out who’s doing what on which block (and, thus, which places to avoid) without actually having to stake out dealers. Blah blah blah tribalism blah.

    Tagging a dog, though… that’s gratuitous cruelty. I don’t know whether the taggers are claiming the dog as their own, or just taunting opposing gangers into killing the poor thing.

  • 2. April R Klepper  |  October 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    We need to get these gang members where they belong, they don’t deserve to be free, they belong in jail. It is bad enough they tag our homes, and now dogs, this is animal cruelty.

  • 3. April R Klepper  |  October 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    We need to get these gang members off the streets and in jail. They don’t deserve to be free, it is bad enough they tag our homes and now dogs, this is animal cruelty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


Copyright notice

All original content on this Web site is copyright © on the date of publication by this author. All rights reserved except, of course, that others may quote from original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of US copyright law.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 285 other followers

RSS New Stuff in our Library

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
Top Dog Blog
Featured in Alltop


Add to Technorati Favorites
Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
blogarama - the blog directory
Blog Directory
Blog Directory & Search engine
October 2009

%d bloggers like this: