updated 11/14/2007 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/14/2007 AT 6:15 PM ET
In a stark new PSA, Russell Simmons, a frequent animal activist, calls on people who are aware of dogfighting operations in their communities to expose and eradicate them.
“There’s nothing slick, cool or glamorous about dogfighting,” says the hip-hop mogul, 50, as the ad shows dramatized footage of a small pet dog being stolen off the street, taken to a warehouse, muzzled and thrown into a ring with a pit bull.
“If you know about dogfighting in your community and you don’t speak up, you’re guilty, too,” Simmons says.
Simmons, filmed the commercial on behalf of animal-protection groups BeKind and the Humane Society ofthe United States. The issue has been in the spotlight since NFL star Michael Vick pleaded guilty to federal dog-fighting charges earlier this year.
Simmons also has embraced other animal-rights issues. In 2005, he joined the Rev. Al Sharpton in urging a boycott of KFC over its treatment of chickens. Earlier this year, he asked the city of Chicago to keep its current ban on foie gras on the grounds that it is cruel to ducks.