To the left here, take a look at Sadie Mae. Sadie is one of two dogs we were able to rescue from a small bust in York, SC from February of this year. Sadie bears the scars from her past on her coat, hidden away now beneath the shine in her body and light coloring of her fur.
Sadie's paperwork from the shelter screamed "very dog aggressive" on page after page of the legal paperwork we were made to sign before they would release her. I can only hope today those same folks who wrote those very harsh words in an effort to protect themselves from any liability within the unknown SEE this photo and realize that you CANNOT label a dog ANYTHING without an individual evaluation. Sadie now lives in a home with 4 other dogs and 2 cats and loves every bit of it. We're definitely making plans to get more pictures and maybe some video of her "unexpected" home life as she paves the way for more bust dogs in our region to be afforded the opportunity of an individual evaluation before being labeled a villain.
Last October, we traveled to Missouri to assist with the large dog fighting raid and rescue that spanned across numerous states. In total, over 500 dogs were confiscated in this raid - the largest raid in US history to date! We were able to step in and help with 4 of these dogs, 2 of which are already in their adoptive homes :) Eva the Diva was spotted by her adopter from a photo from hundreds of miles away. The match has gone well and her new family adores her :) Superman Dan was the next to be adopted and is making his new dad smile every step of the way with his personality that is as unique as his looks! Suey Dolittle has gone through obedience training and enjoys a good romp with other dogs with a similar play style and has an uncanny love for children - She NEEDS one in her life! She's so polite with them and can certainly take their usual rough and tumble nature. Eddie Munster was saved before having to go through the horrors of training or fighting and my THAT is a good thing! This boy is sensitive and likely would have made a terrible addition to someone's "yard" for the purpose of fighting. Eddie is a busy boy with a way to make the girl's swoon with his goofy nature and polite but pleading hugs for people.
Want to see a video of two of the bust dogs PLAYING? Check this one out of Dan and Suey when Dan came down for a visit :)
Eddie Munster has improved by leaps and bounds since he came to us in October of 2009. Such a timid boy who is slowly but surely testing out new things in life and gaining a new confidence with new things. One interesting thing a lot of people don't realize but is something that is practically a necessity with Eddie; a LOT of dogs from these busts really THRIVE and LEARN from social interactions with other dogs. Eddie's lack of confidence is amplified in situations when there are no other dogs present. For instance, his foster home likes to take him running to meet some of Eddie's needs for physical exercise.
There are times on these run/walks where Eddie loses his confidence and basically just stops and "pancakes" to the ground in an effort to not have to go anywhere. What his foster home has found is that if he takes the other two (yes TWO) resident dogs out on the run, Eddie has no fears and can make it through his full route. It's amazing what other dogs can teach those who know so little!
And then there's Scarlet Justice, the second dog we were able to pull from the bust in York, SC. She has come with her fair share of advanced challenges quite simply because it's obvious she was heavily involved with the more worse things that go on in dog fighting - actual fighting. While we have no solid proof (ie: no one saw it happen first-hand with her) of her full background, her many scars and old injuries tell us a lot. She's not an easy dog for most people as she has a higher energy level than most dogs out there. She's also not so cat friendly. She's a true pit bull terrier through and through though with her insatiable love for people. Her body melts against your's like butter when she's being petted and she has the drive to do whatever it takes to make YOU happy. We're currently exploring her ability to be with other dogs and we're optimistic for the outcome. Not all bust dogs are going to be easy, but there are many, even with "special needs" that still exude the temperament we all look for with these dogs - their love for people.
At present, we're working out the details on what may be going on and where life may be taking Justice with an injury from her past. See, Justice suffered a break of some sort in her left front leg. It has healed, but because it wasn't attended to properly, we're now seeing some "new" issues lower on her leg in what would be our "wrist" area. X-Rays were taken of her leg last week after a bout of lameness in that leg for the second time in a 10-day period. Those X-Rays showed some very rough "healing" in the outer carpal area in that leg. She was prescribed Rimadyl and we're going to see how things progress once she is through with it. It could be a lifelong issue that will require medication to help her cope with the injury. At this time however, we aren't sure and we're waiting on additional guidance from our veterinarian on what this will mean for her over the long term. In the mean time, Justice is now learning what swimming is all about ;) It's a great form of exercise that doesn't require impact on joints that aren't at their best.
Although such a long post, we genuinely hope to reach people who may have reservations about dogs that have come from these fight busts. We understand, the words can sound intimidating and scary! Especially with all the bad press that abounds! And while the media may not find great stories from positive press since that hardly brings in a slew of ratings, the positive press is out there. And here, this is our PERSONAL experience with dogs from these types of cases. And the people that have opened their home and life to one of these extraordinary animals will also speak from the bottom of their heart just how normal and incredible these dogs can be. Ask someone ;)