After receiving a plea from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to cease using the often-abused Pit Bull as a weapon in popular social game Mafia Wars, Zynga has decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

Last month Mafia Wars developer Zynga introduced animal-based weapons and vehicles to Mafia Wars, allowing dons to purchase ferocious animal companions to use in the never-ending fight against each other.

While many of the animals were exotic species that players would obviously never get their hands on, PETA took exception to the inclusion of pit bulls, a breed of dog often abused for use in dog fighting or home security.

PETA immediately took action, firing off a letter to Zynga founder Mark Pincus, appealing to his history as a dog lover to drive the point home. Zynga, the company that runs some of the most popular games on social networking site Facebook, was named after Pincus' late bulldog, Zinga.

It seems PETA's plea worked. While the more exotic breeds animals remain, the pit bull is no longer available for purchase in Mafia Wars. As a token of their appreciation, the organization shipped Pincus a box of vegan chocolates. Yum.

"Mafia Wars is obviously only a game, but the suffering endured by thousands of pit bulls who are treated as if they were nothing more than burglar alarms or fighting machines is very real," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "By removing Mafia Wars' virtual pit bull, Zynga is no longer perpetuating the mindset that it's acceptable to chain, neglect, and abuse real dogs."


Dammit, everyone is getting vegan chocolates but me - first Steve Jobs, and now Mark Pincus. I'd kick one of my cats for a box of vegan chocolates right about now.