Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rescued Pit Bulls Transferred to Butte Humane from Largest U.S. Dog-fighting Ring

Reported by: Britt Carlson
Email: bcarlson@khsltv.com
Last Update: 11/16 11:05 pm

More than five months after the largest dog-fighting bust in America, the survivors are now starting to be placed in homes.

Nearly 500 dogs were rescued from dog-fighting rings spanning five states.

Action News was there when the animals arrived Tuesday at the Butte Humane society in Chico.

After a long trip from St. Louis to Chico, 11 rescued pit bulls have finally made it to the Butte Humane Society.

These dogs are just a small fraction of the 500 rescued by the Missouri Humane Society in the largest dog-fighting raid in US history.

Executive Director of the Butte Humane Society Heather Schoeppach says, “It's not known how much they were fighting, one has a few little scars you can see where some hair has grown back.”

The dogs were seized in July following several raids spanning Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma.

500 dogs and only one emergency shelter, the Missouri Humane Society reached out.

Schoeppach says, “Because of our past background in animal rescue and pit bull advocacy, they were aware of our work here.”

That's how three adults and eight puppies, ended up in Chico with foster families ready to take them in.

Many of the mothers didn't give birth until they were rescued.

Schoeppach says, “We thought it was important for people to see these aren't dogs to be feared, they make great family dogs when given the right home.”

It's clear these dogs have been through a lot, so it's common for families to wonder, ‘Will this be the right addition to our home?’ The Butte Humane Society says since the rescue, each dog’s behavior has been seriously monitored and they're fit for adoption.”

Schoeppach adds, “It's our job to keep them for six weeks, do our own behavior and medical evaluations and they'll be up for adoption.”

Through the long journey and the pain many of the pit bulls have endured, there's still a glimmer of life and love in their eyes.

And for the caretakers, just hope that these dog-fighting victims will one day belong to a loving home.

Schoeppach says, “I'm glad we have the opportunity, foster families and support to take in dogs like this, because all they've known is a life of abuse and neglect.”
Most of the dogs have had all their vaccinations and have been spayed or neutered.