Blast defender Mike Lookingland is the newest addition to the “Show Your Soft Side” campaign. “Show Your Soft Side” is a campaign developed to combat the alarming incidence of animal abuse in Baltimore. Many of the more horrific cases have been perpetrated by teens, thus leading the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission to look for ways to change the mindset of young people who often view the maiming and torturing of defenseless dogs and cats as a sign of “toughness” or “manhood”. The campaign puts forth a very different message – a message that subtly shows that “being a man” has many facets to it, including a “soft side” when it comes to animals. The goal is to reach kids early because research shows that kids who abuse animals soon graduate to even more violent crimes. Featuring acknowledged hard men of Baltimore with their pets, the campaign’s posters, billboards and print ads make the point that only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.
The campaign was made possible by the generosity of the following corporate sponsors: Eddie’s of Roland Park, Fullmoon Marketing & Events, Kirk Designs, Inc. and Media Works, LTD.
The Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force was created in July 2009 after a young pit-bull terrier – who was subsequently called Phoenix – was doused with gasoline and set on fire in broad daylight in West Baltimore. On November 3, 2010, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed the Anti-Animal Abuse Commission into law with the goal of helping the city prevent and prosecute animal cruelty, including dog fighting.
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