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Controversial Dog Wars app renamed KG Dogfighting, back on sale

April 30, 2011 |  7:30 am

The controversial Dog Wars app has been renamed KG Dogfighting and is back up on the Android Marketplace.

The site says it was updated Saturday two days after the head of the Los Angeles police union urged Google to permanently pull the virtual dogfighting game app from its phone app marketplace.

In the letter sent Thursday to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber urged Google "to do the right thing and ban this game permanently."

"The game teaches users how to breed, train, fight, medicate and kill virtual dogs," Weber wrote on behalf of the union's 9,900 rank-and-file members. "The entire concept is repulsive and sickening," Weber said, noting that the app simulates dogfighting, which is a felony offense in all 50 states.

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