Thursday, February 19, 2009

North Carolina Dogs Seized in Dog Fighting Raid are Dead

For more on this and the position of HSUS as articulated by John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues, read Animal Law Coalition's report below.

Original report: Wilkes County, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson today ordered the deaths of 127 pit bull type dogs seized in a raid. The dogs were owned by Ed Faron, a breeder who used and sold the dogs for fighting.

At a hearing today to determine the dogs' fate, prosecutors and other Wilkes County officials as well as the Humane Society of the U.S. argued that the dogs are dangerous and would pose a risk if adopted. HSUS and county officials had handled the dogs and said that even the puppies were aggressive, and the dogs would kill other animals.

A number of people and animal welfare organizations including Bad Rap, had offered to adopt the dogs. The dogs that belonged to Michael Vick were evaluated and placed with several organizations and some are now in homes.

John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for HSUS, said, "I saw these dogs, and in fact handled many of them while they were being evaluated. These dogs would most certainly kill any other dog they could get to.

"It is very sad that people are also missing the bigger story, that our work has shut down one of the top breeders of fighting dogs in the United States. Dogfighters are seeing their heros go to prison. This is having an effect, and many dogfighters are leaving that world behind as they recognize the cost of doing business is too great. HSUS is the only organization in the United States that has an entire campaign that works full time on animal fighting issues.

"I support pit bull rescue, but there has to be a group that goes farther and hits at the root of the problem. That is what we are doing by putting leaders in the dogfighting criminal underworld out of business.

"Lastly, Wilkes County euthanizes 3,000 healthy, adoptable animals a year simply because there are not enough good homes opening their doors to these needy animals. I find it disturbing that the groups clamoring for media attention over these 127 dogs raise no fuss, and offer no assistance, for the other 3,000 dogs put down in that county each year."

Goodwin also cited the cost of rehabilitating the Vick dogs - more than $1 million - and noted most are still in individual runs in shelters and not in homes.