Last month, the HSUS Animal Rescue Team made stops in Florida and Pennsylvania to help local law enforcement save dozens of dogs from suspected fighting rings. During a snowstorm in Pittsburgh, we worked with local police and Hello Bully, a rescue group, to save 13 dogs, including four who had been chained outside in the cold. Veterinarian Ann Cirillo of Seven Fields Veterinary Hospital examined the animals on the scene, and The HSUS and Hello Bully are now caring for these dogs while their legal custody is determined. Police charged the owner with felony animal fighting.
Just two days later, we assisted with another raid in Jacksonville, Fla., to deliver 17 dogs from alleged abuse. One dog especially stood out to rescuers and in our photo slideshow. “Champion Sam” has a severely scarred face from being forced to fight, yet he is gentle and friendly. As our manager of animal fighting investigations Chris Schindler said, “He is a sweet dog who just wants to curl up on your lap. Animals can be so forgiving. We can try and make up for the awful things humans have done to him.”
In another encouraging outcome, local law enforcement arrested the owner and charged him with multiple felonies. We were also glad to join with Hello Bully and The Animal Care and Protective Services of Jacksonville for this rescue. The rescued Florida dogs are also doing well and will hopefully be on their way to our Dogfighting Rescue Coalition placement partners soon.
This is just a glimpse of our anti-animal fighting work, but it’s so helpful and encouraging to remember these individual lives touched by our program and our staff.