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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 27 November 2002 Issue

Pit Bull Rescue

A man walks into a pet adoption fair for rescued companion animals, inside a pet supply store. He eyes a young woman and asks her "You know anyone that wants to buy a pit bull puppy?" 

BUY a pit bull?  At an adoption fair?  Had she looked the other way or said "no thanks," I would not be writing this.  There would be no Star and no Sunshine, no happy endings. 

Fortunately, the young woman took the man's phone number and later mentioned it to me.  We decided to go over and see what kind of puppies the guy had, out of curiosity.  We didn't need any puppies or dogs.  We just wanted to see what condition they were in.

The house was what we imagine a crack house would look like, with mattresses on the floor, pit bull dogs in heavy leather, metal studded harnesses, locked inside small metal crates in dark corners with no food or water.  Two dogs in this crate, fighting one another, one dog in that crate, viscously snarling at us, one in another crate, two more in a crate in the kitchen closet......  The house was dark, a small child with bad teeth sat on the sofa, dogs were barking from every room.  We talked to the man and his friends, pretending not to be alarmed by the terrible state of the crated dogs.  We talked about wanting a dog, but maybe not a puppy.  The man said his dogs came from "game" dogs (dogs forced to fight) and proudly recited the names of the 'famous' fighting dogs his were descendants of.

The puppies were a few hundred dollars a piece, but they weren't in the house.  They claimed the puppies were kept elsewhere.  The guy then brought in a filthy, hairless, trembling bag of bones.  "This is Baby Doll," he stated, proudly.  My heart sank. The dog's ear and tail had been chewed off by other dogs and was swollen, bleeding and sore.  Her paws were visibly swollen and her entire body was covered with infected and bleeding pustules.  "That will make a great birthday present for my friend," I said to the man and he readily agreed.  Fifty bucks and we were walking out the door with one scary looking pit bull. 

I never exchange money for living beings, as it goes against my beliefs.  But this was different.  This dog was suffering horribly and needed immediate veterinary attention.

We drove straight to the emergency veterinary clinic and carried Baby Doll in.  She was underweight, dehydrated, covered with advanced stages of Demodex mange, one half of one ear was completely missing and part of her tail had been chewed off, leaving it infected and oozing pus and blood. Her body was packed with whip worms. Her ears were red and raw with an advanced yeast infection and her whole body's skin was very hot to the touch, gummy and crawling with fleas.  She cowered in fear and squinted whenever anyone touched her.

A few days later we went back and got a 5 week old puppy from the same house.  Luckily, she was not in the house as long as Baby Doll had been, so she was in much better condition.  Within a short period of time, the puppy "Star" was adopted by a loving couple who treat her as a member of the family.  That's one lucky girl!

Meanwhile, Baby Doll's name was changed to Sunshine as she plodded through her days of medicated baths, twice daily antibiotics, daily ear cleaning,
wound cleaning, Mitoban dips for mange treatment, vaccinations, rehabilitation and eventually even spay surgery.  The vet had to staple her delicate skin after spay and presented her in a full belly wrap bandage to recover at home. 

Sunshine eventually recovered from being spayed and resumed her rightful place on the couch.  Then one day, I noticed she wasn't slouching in fear anymore.  She was feeling better each day, bouncing up on the couch, even spontaneously licking my face for the first time! She still squinted when I gently patted her head, but not nearly as much.  Now she looks at me with a big smile on her face, tongue hanging out, as she play wrestles with Katie, the (previously rescued) Pit Bull girl.  Katie came from a backyard breeder. 

When I picked Katie up from being spayed recently, the vet said "Oh, by the way...did you know this dog's leg had been broken?  She has a bullet in there."  When it comes to pit bull terriers formerly owned by irresponsible humans, nothing really surprises me anymore.
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Note: The names have been changed to protect the innocent.  This article is written by Anonymous. The people responsible for the heinous acts of animal cruelty in the house of pit bulls described are currently sitting in jail, awaiting trial for dog fighting, baiting, and animal cruelty charges.  All it takes is a phone call and persistence to put animal abusers behind bars where they belong.

If you know of a companion animal being neglected and/or abused, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL AND THE POLICE.  File complaints.  Obtain evidence.  Be the squeaky wheel.  The animals have no voice- you are their voice and only hope. Act.  Do something!  Thank you.

Return to Animals in Print 27 Nov 2002 Issue

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