Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Dog's Journey

I read a lengthy article in my local sunday paper by Cheryl Wittenauer of the Associated Press. It was about the pitbulls that were rescued from Michael Vick's (NFL football player) home where he and others staged pitbull fights and destroyed the animals that were not aggressive enough or that had become too injured to fight anymore.

"Vick is serving a 23 month federal sentence after admitting that he bank rolled the dog fighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs." Three others were also sentenced and all four are now facing state animal cruelity charges. Personally I think the charges should have been tougher.

During the police raid at Vick's home, police rescued over 50 pitbull terriers and mix pitbull breeds and sent them to city and county pounds and shelters. Teams were assembled by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals to evaluate if the dogs could be rehabilitated into society, and then adopted into families.

What was found was that most of the dogs were tolerant with other dogs and were actually social with other dogs in the shelters. Once the dogs were evaluated, only one was put down for being too aggressive. Half have been sent to a Utah sanctuary, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where they will be trained and worked with for eventual adoption. Others were evaluated as being ready for adoption and were taken to different adoption groups.

When I read this article, I felt happy that these dogs were given a second chance at life instead of just being judged as too aggressive and being destroyed. Each dog was evaluated individually to see if he could be socialized and trained to lead a normal family dog life. And many, if not all, have gone on to do just that. My heart hurts for the pain and fear they must have felt living with Vick and his friends. That is over. For that I am thankful. And I am thankful to all the human angels that have helped in rescueing and rehabilitating these dogs. Now they will get the love they overwhelming deserve, and for that, my heart is happy.

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