Thiago ‘The Pitbull’ Alves Is Ready to K.O. Animal Abuse

Fighter Marks MMA Return With New PETA Campaign: 'Never Be Silent'

For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2014

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Two years and four surgeries after his last MMA fight, Brazilian welterweight Thiago Alves is eager to return to the ring on April 19 in Orlando—but there’s another fight that the “Pitbull” was eager to sign up for, and that’s PETA’s fight against cruelty to animals. Posing in his boxing shorts and aiming a punch toward the camera, Alves stars in a new PETA ad that proclaims, “The ‘Pitbull’ Wants You to Report Animal Abuse.” The ad, which is part of PETA’s “Never Be Silent” campaign, is available here.

In an exclusive video interview with PETA, Alves points out the cruelty of forcing the dogs he’s named for to fight. “It’s a very cowardly move to put dogs to fight against each other,” he says. “[T]hey don’t want to fight. … I have a choice—I love what I do. They don’t. They get punished ….” As for the people who force dogs to fight? “All I want with a guy like that’s five minutes—maybe two—and I guarantee you he’ll change his mind,” says Alves.

Alves also stresses the importance of speaking up whenever abuse, including dogfighting, is suspected: “You can’t just let those things go unpunished,” he says. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s usually because it’s not right. So say something and make a difference.”

Alves joins a long list of fighters and other top athletes—including “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Marlen Esparza, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Lawson, K.J. Noons, Mac Danzig, and Jake Shields—who have teamed up with PETA to knock out cruelty to animals.

Broadcast-quality video footage of Alves’ interview can be downloaded here. For more information and to view the ad, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind