Dogs vs. hogs in the Ozarks: blood sport or family entertainment?

Organizers for the Southern Boyz Hog Bay event near Monett say their sport is misunderstood. So on may 2nd, they allowed KY3 reporter Drew Douglas take an inside look at this controversial sport.
A dog and a feral hog, in a pen.  This is the Southern Boyz hog bay.
"The number 1 most important rule is they go in and they bay the hogs, that's bark at him. It's a two minute competition. 3 judges scoring it. And the goal is to hold him there by barking at him," says John Marmon, owner of the Southern Boyz Hog Bay event just north of Monett.
The event is held the first Saturday each May and September at the end of a dirt road.
Tyler Hartley brought his dog Gage to participate in the event.  Gage is a three year old Catahoula.
"They are a southern dog, they're a hunting dog," says Hartley.
Gage is well loved by Tyler, but this dog is not your average family pet.
"He's won the one dog event here the last, I think he's won it the last 4 times in a row," says Hartley.
"He knows what's going on, he's excited," says Hartley as Gage pulls against his leash, eager to approach the pen where a large feral hog is waiting.
Gage and Tyler enter the pen through a gate and Tyler releases Gage from his leash.  Gage rushes to the hog, barking in the pig's face, while Tyler chants commands.
"Bay him son!" Tyler cheers.
Animal advocates from the Humane Society and Missourians for the Protection of Animals say they did not know this kind of event was happening in Missouri until they saw the video shot by KY3.
"Oh I was shocked, I had no idea," says Sheila Nichols, with the Humane Society of the United States.
Laura Umphenour, a district leader for the Humane Society of the United States and founder of Missourians 4 the Protection of Animals, agrees. "It's very upsetting. It's very appalling to somebody like myself," says Umphenour.
"Oh I would say this definitely qualifies as animal abuse," says Nichols.
During the event, children are encouraged to join a game of catch the pig, where kids chase small hogs and catch them. There is also a 'tuff man's competition, in which teams of men try to put a t-shirt onto a hog and get it back it off faster than the other teams.
"We like to keep it as a family event, I got my wife, my kids, everyone out here's got families. There's no drinking, no nonsense, allowed. We love baying hogs," says Marmon.
"Love it, love the sport, family oriented as you can see," says Hartley.
Opponents object to the family entertainment label.
"To promote this as family entertainment is incredibly troubling," says Nichols.
"You're teaching children that animal cruelty is okay, it's even rewarded," says Umphenour.
But the main event is the bay, drawing people and dogs from surrounding southern states.
"There's people here actually from Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and they come to this event to work their dogs," says Marmon.
John Marmon runs the Southern Boyz Hog Bay, and he says it's the only hog bay competition in the state of Missouri.