Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Pivotal Moment...

First, we'd like to apologize to all of our faithful readers for slacking on the blog department lately. We've been incredibly busy maintaining behind the scenes stuff that we haven't had the chance to keep you all updated! Give us just a few more weeks and we'll start feeding your need for New Hope updates once again :)

"Catch the dog fighters and give them the same treatment they gave the dogs!" We've all heard the similar cries of support from those against the terrible act of dog fighting. Folks, while the support to end dog fighting is much needed and must continue, please don't forget that behind every dog fighter busted, there are dogs. Usually 10 or more and at other times it can reach close to the hundreds with one person alone. Dogs that have been encouraged by their humans to respond aggressively towards other dogs. Dogs who want to please their handlers and who may have become addicted to their praise and the adrenaline of a fight. Dogs who have lived their lives on chains, day in and day out, unknowingly waiting for their day to be matched. Many of these dogs die because, you guessed it, there is no where for them to go. We've seen little change in the state of South Carolina in respect to bust dogs. Most would prefer to hide the story. Most would prefer to euthanize the dogs simply because of where they came from, ignoring the individual personalities of the dogs or even feeling helpless as to what could be done for them, believing that there are no resources to help.

Resources. That is why we chose to get involved with the Humane Society of Missouri and Mutts N Stuff in aiding in the placement of 4 dogs from the largest dog fighting raid and rescue in US history to date. Although there is never a shortage of great pit bulls in our local shelters, we knew that by not getting involved, we would have a harder time effecting a change for the dogs in our own state, especially those confiscated from raids or busts. All 4 dogs from the MO-based raid are adjusting well. Its been different teaching them things in comparison to most of the dogs we pull from shelters but it seems primarily because they have never had to worry about learning anything. The only real boundaries set forth were dictated by chains. Teaching them impulse control and providing them with coping skills for new situations has been our largest task with the dogs. They want to make you happy one thousand times over but do tend to forget a lot in the beginning and need a fair and consistent leader. Three of the four dogs can safely play well with other dogs. The fourth likely will too but his foster mom is taking things slowly to make sure a good foundation is laid. To compensate for bringing dogs in from out of our home state, we rescued three emaciated females prior to our trip out to Missouri and after returning, rescued an additional five dogs of mixed genders, ages, and conditions. These are huge numbers for us being such a small rescue.

Our point to bringing up the dogs from Missouri is that they have afforded us the hands-on experience to be able to say with confidence that bust dogs ARE worth saving. I don't recall of ANY cases in the state of South Carolina where even a handful of dogs confiscated in a fight bust were released to a rescue for adoption. Folks, we are at a VERY pivotal point in South Carolina history that for the first time, dogs from a bust could make it out ALIVE! It's already a HUGE deal in our opinion that the shelter is allowing the evaluations! Please understand how IMPORTANT this is. Please also understand that to save these dogs lives, we have to move quickly. We NEED foster homes! If even a small part of you is considering fostering, talk to us! We're trying to make history for South Carolina and build up even MORE resources for dogs in the future and we can't do that without YOUR help.