This sweet face is just one of the dogs found during the raid a few weeks ago when almost 400 dogs were rescued from the second largest dog fighting ring in US history. Only weeks old, this tiny puppy already wore a heavy weighted chain, many times heavier than he was, common to dogs being trained for fighting and that chain would only get heavier and heavier as the pup grew to make him stronger. Weighing only a few pounds, he was left in the scorching sun, part of the cruel and grueling training regime.
But thankfully this puppy and many others that were rescued will be able to write new chapters to their story, chapters fill with love and families and play and toys and fun… all the things that should fill a puppy’s life.
For many of the others rescued, it’s not going to be so easy but they are being given a chance.
In a warehouse in an undisclosed location, the ASPCA is working to rehab the dogs. Pregnant and nursing females and pups have been separated and are being cared for. The rest are also receiving care, medical attention and are being assessed so that decisions can be made for their training and rehab.
Not only are the dogs getting medical treatment for malnourishment and injuries sustained in fighting, Bershadker said the canines also are getting “a personal behavior modification enrichment plan to maximize each dog’s opportunity to be placed in a home.”
The goal is to turn these fighting dogs into animals that can be pets or work as rescue and rehabilitation animals.
“What we will do is go to each dog individually and assess their strengths and their weaknesses,” said Bershadker. (source)
They are doing what they can to give these previously doomed dog a chance. I applaud them! Too often in the past, dogs rescued during dog fighting raids have been summarily euthanized, organizations often citing lack of funds or that the dogs are too dangerous to try to rehab.
For some of the dogs, the road will be an easy one, for others, not so much… like this little pit mix, so scared that he panics at the sight of anyone, sits in his cage and just trembles. It’s going to take time and a lot of work for this poor baby and other like him so traumatized by their lives at the end of the chain and in the ring.
“Understand that these dogs have experienced nothing but life at the end of a chain,” Bershadker explained. “Even a water bowl is new for them … they are afraid of everything.”
While it’s not all roses and rainbows and I know that not every dog will make it, these dogs are no longer being cruelly tortured and brutally abused. They will have a chance… now it’s up to the dogs, the trainers, time and prayers…
And that precious little puppy in the pic at the beginning of this post, things are alot different for him…