'Dog Wars' Android app still 'sick, disgusting,' even under new name, LAPD union boss says
The head of the Los Angeles Police Department's officers union said that it was unacceptable for the makers of the controversial "Dog Wars" phone app to rename it "KG Dogfighting" and put it back on the market.
Paul M. Weber, who has been leading a law enforcement charge against the app, said renaming it "does not make it any less sick, disgusting or appalling."
He repeated his call that the game be pulled off the market.
"The entire concept is repulsive and sickening, and it is absolutely the wrong message to send to our children. We once again call on Google to follow the lead of Apple and ban this game from its website and all products they sell," he said. "Doing anything short of voluntarily banning the game from its products shows that Google is willing to put profit over public safety."
The game had been temporarily removed by Android Marketplace last week but was back up for sale with the new name Saturday.
The "Dog Wars" app for the Android smartphone encourages players to "Raise your dog to beat the best" and allows players to train a virtual pit bull to fight other virtual dogs and build street cred that "puts money in your pocket and lets you earn more in fights."
The company's website notes that the game player has a "gun for police raids and can inject the dog with steroids."
A Google representative said the application was "removed based on a trademark infringement complaint" but did not immediately say whether the app would be sold again if those issues were resolved. Google did not immediately respond to questions about the game's renaming.
Animal welfare groups, including the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, have echoed the L.A. police group's sentiments, as has Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who was convicted and imprisoned for dogfighting.
Kage Games, the creators of the "Dog Wars" application, said in an email to The Times this week that the game was meant to educate the public on the evils of animal cruelty.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Image: Android Marketplace