What happens to “evidence” dogs?

pb3You ever read the newspaper and read about these dog fighting rings being broken up? Police or Animal Control moves in and breaks up the ring, arrest people, put a stop to it?  We all rejoice.  Yay.  More scum put behind bars where they should be.  More dogs taken from the terrible life  they lived, the ONLY life they have ever known –  a life of horror, terror, fear, abuse, misery and cruelty.  Saved.  Those dogs SAVED.

Well. I hate to burst your bubble.

No. Mostly they don’t get saved.  FUTURE dogs may get saved from this fate by breaking up these rings and putting the leaders behind bars (thank goodness), but the actual dogs involved – what happens to them?

Well. By and large they get euthanized.

Best Friends had to FIGHT tooth and nail and even go to court to save the lives of the Vick dogs. And recently in NYC over a dozen dogs were taken to the CACC and the owners arrested and all but one was euthanized.

So it isn’t peaches and cream for these “saved” dogs.  It is ala PETA  “save” them to just kill them.

And mind you, I am not suggesting leaving fighting rings going.  Absurd.  We need to slam these people into the ground, slam them hard, and then ride over them with trucks. So don’t think for a second I am suggesting that we don’t stop these fighting rings.  I’m just saying that there HAS to be another option for these dogs other than just killing them.

Pit bulls are NOT bad dogs.  In fact pit bulls tested better than 130 other breeds for temperament!

Look at some stats:

  1. In temperament tests by the American Temperament Testing Society, statistics show the pit bull has an 84 percent pass rate. This temperament test pass rate is higher than the beagle. 84% pass a VERY difficult temperament test. 84%.
  2. Pit bulls are extremely intelligent. They love to please their masters and this can make them readily trainable – this is why they are often used in fighting rings – they are so easily and quickly trained. The intelligence of the pit bull has made it possible for them to serve in law enforcement and drug interdiction, as therapy dogs, as search and rescue dogs and in the military.
  3. Pit bulls do not have “locking jaws” or more bite pressure per square inch.  In fact tests done with pits, german shepherds and rotties showed that pits had the LEAST bite pressure! Here is a link to some other pit bull myths debunked: http://www.realpitbull.com/myths.html
  4. Farmers Branch, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has kept accurate records since 1980. During a 7 year period from 1980 through 1987, this is what was recorded. Total bites: 1,593. Pit Bulls accounted for 30 bites, or 1.89% of the total. Other studies tend to show the same results and because of so many mongrels that have similar features and the unfair lumping in with the Pit Bull Terrier, it seems reasonable to assume that the figures are actually much lower. In a 1993 study, in Palm Beach County, the bites were ranked by severity from 1 to 4 and the animal that was recorded as having inflicted the greatest number of severe bites was the domestic short-haired cat.  Seriously.


So here you have a great breed of dog and the answer every time they are “saved” is to kill them.  Best Friends proved that the Vick dogs could be rehabilitated from fighting dogs to loving pets. Take a look for yourself: http://network.bestfriends.org/news/postdetail.aspx?np=22444

So what is the point of this blog? Well we were contacted about two dogs. The headline says:

Dogs held as evidence to be killed after 3 years.
Here is the link to the story.
Please read it. I’ll wait.

So the summary is that these were two dogs that were confiscated from a drug ring. THREE years ago. THREE. They were provided NO human contact other than what it took a few minutes a day to feed and clean. They were housed in a tiny cement run. No walks.  No sunshine. No love. No affection. NOTHING. Food. Water. Clean-up. One of them has taken to playing with his metal food bowl for a little stimulation. They were given disgusting names. Big Head is the name of one. Wild One is the name of the other. Brilliant.

And so the case has wound through court for three long years and these dogs sit. Waiting for humans to process paperwork and red tape and press charges against the creatures that tormented them. And they sit. And wait. Three. Long. Years.

Here are some news articles about the case:

  1. Dog-fighting – 3 dogs seized, Enfield, NC
  2. Dog-fighting ring busted in Halifax County
  3. Dog Fighting Ring Busted In Enfield

Some key points:
>>Evidence at the scene indicates this wasn’t the first dog fight at the location. Authorities found two other enclosed fighting pits on the property. Investigators discovered the skeletal remains of two dogs near the ring and it appeared others had been buried in the woods. Dried blood was splattered on the walls of the rings and authorities recovered dogfighting paraphernalia at the scene. Each of the dogs likely will be euthanized in the coming weeks, Richardson said, because they are too aggressive for adoption. <<

But only one was (and that was due to severe injuries). The others were held as evidence, and here is the thing. They weren’t aggressive – at all. There is a volunteer at this facility – she reports that the dogs are very affectionate. Whenever they are presented with the opportunity to interact with a person, they do so with gusty enthusiasm. She says that they lick your fingers and your face.

No one has stepped up to take them. Best Friends has their hands full with all the dogs they currently have. They can’t take them. And honestly, we can’t either. We have over 185 pit bulls at our Westchester location. We have over 30 at our Middletown location. I am telling every single person that asks about surrendering a pit to us “No, I am so sorry. We love this breed but we have SO MANY right now, we just can not take any more.”

I will admit, I do not want to take these two either. I am sure that they will need some time, some rehab, a lot of attention and a lot of care. I am sure that they will be with us for a LONG time, stopping us from helping OTHER dogs because they will be taking up that space.

But I’m stuck now.
We SAW them. We have been asked to help. We are responsible now to not turn our backs on them now that we have read, understood and digested their story.

pb2These dogs have NEVER had a life.
They have been bred to fight.
They have lived a life of hell.
Then they were “saved” to live a life of isolation, solitude and boredom.

We can’t turn our backs on them.
I am asking you to help us.
We  need to buy more runs to house them.
We need to provide our staff more hours of overtime to spend extra time to work with these dogs and teach them what love is. We need to get them here. provide for them, for likely a very long time. We need to RENAME them and give them a decent name!!! We need to make sure they are medically sound. We need to shower them with toys and stimulation. These pictures are the “before” pictures. Let’s give these boys some “after” ones too. Happier. Loving. A real LIFE.

I am appealing to you all to help us.
Please make a donation so that Pets Alive can TAKE these dogs, HELP these dogs and fight the powers that be that feel euthanasia is the only answer. It isn’t.

YOU know it. WE know it.
Let’s stand together to make a difference.
Perhaps the one thing you will do in your life that makes an impact – is to help us to help these dogs.
Donate now to Pets Alive.
We simply can not afford to continue to save lives like this, without your support, your help, and your love.

These dogs were sequestered from life. We need to commit to them.
Without that commitment – they will die.
They will die after being used to fight. They will die after spending years locked up away from life.

We thank you…and I am 100% sure, that THEY will thank you.
And when they get here – come down and meet them. Watch as they change, unfold, and learn to love.
You will be the part of something GREAT. Something wonderful.
Take our hand, be our partners. Save a life today.
Together we can show these two dogs that there is GOOD in the world.

P.S. The two people that donate the MOST to help these dogs will be given
not only our appreciation but the right to pick their new names.

Filed in No-kill by kerry on Jul 16, 2011.  There are 10 Comments

10 Responses to “What happens to “evidence” dogs?”

  1. david Says:

    Will these dogs ever be safe to interact with people and other dogs? Is it possible?

  2. Mayura Quinn Says:

    I am gonna REAAAAAALLY try to help the best I can. O’ve worked in the animal shelter business for over 8 yrs and it disgusted me too to have to see evidence dogs. I currently work at a local private shelter, which does not deal with such issues ad an animal control faculty. Nonetheless, we still have our fair share of heartbreak and we too are always needing funds. So…

    I put two of my biggest passions together…animals and belly dancing. I’ve organized two fundraising shows, the last one was in May, and we raised $852, enough to pay for a dog’s biopsy and mass removal on her keg, heartworm treatment for another dog, a few cat dentals.

    Most of my belly dancer friends and drummers Iove animals so are more than willing to participate. It sounds sillly, but a lot of people show better support thru something like this rather than just going around trying to beg people to donate.

    In fact I’m getting excited, maybe I can find a venue to do fundraising on a regular basis, like once a month!

    Most of my belly dancer friends and drummers absolutely live animals so ate always will

  3. Trudy Says:

    Apparently ANYTHING is possible at Pets Alive.
    I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve seen SO much in the past
    few years I could write a book. But Kerry says things so eloquently I’ll leave it up to her.
    To be continued …… I’m sure.

  4. lisa holm Says:

    Wonderfully written Kerry! I’m donating in my moms name, June DiMattia, for her
    78th Birthday!

  5. Angela R Says:

    I know it’s hard to imagine because humans are limited by their own frame of reference, but YES!! it is possible to rehabilitate these dogs. They don’t hold grudges, they don’t compare before & after, they don’t wallow “woah is me” like humans do. I said it after seeing it with the Vick dogs but, if humans went through what these dogs have, we’d never survive, so buried in the emotional & mental damage due to our psyche & how we get trapped in the way we psychologically work. It’d be endless therapy & a terribly rough road. But dogs go moment to moment. These guys will need, in our terms, “a lot of time” which isn’t convienent in many well meant ways. But they’ve never been given a chance to show how good they are (if anything, they’ve been given greater challenges to overcome from the 3 yr sequestering during the trial). But they will show us how we should be & how resilient & wonderful they are and have never been allowed to show. Will they ever be good with kids or other dogs? Whether they will or won’t be can’t be judged on where they’re coming from or what actions they made to please their (heavy handed) owners. They need to be allowed to settle, get into a healthy routine, start to learn to trust so we can see their true selves. My black lab isnt’ good with kids. My poodle isn’t great with other dogs…..let them become themselves. Trust me, they’ll absolutly amaze you. That’s a promise.
    I applaud Pet’s Alive for putting out a plea and taking the moral responsiblity to give these dogs a chance, despite all the valid reasons & responsibilities they have to all the other pitties they currently have. I truly feel your pain. It won’t be as much as I’d like but a donation to help is on it’s way.

  6. Dawn Says:

    @ David-they can! I had the privilege of helping transport them to Pets Alive tonight. They were both so sweet!! They just crave love and attention. I kissed them, scratched their ears, gave them belly rubs-they just soaked it all up. They may have to be only dogs but they are certainly fine with people.

  7. Melissa Says:

    I started volunteering yestrrday and itwaees love at first sight with these 2.it is absolutely possible to rehabilitate these dogs with enough love and support and attention. I plan on spending alot of time with them so they can eventually have good homes. Who knows I might even end up adopting them one day!!

  8. Christina G Says:

    See the dogs on the news! video clip of the two dogs at Pets Alive!


    Christina G (rescue advocate of the two dogs)(my greatest accomplishment, could not have been done without Pets Alive taking the dogs.

  9. Christina G Says:

    Here it is again at another site, in case you cannot open the other link. Enjoy


  10. Christina G Says:

    Dawn and Melissa that is so nice to hear!

    Christina G (Big Head and Wild One’s rescue advocate)I know, their names have since been changed.

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