During their investigation of a suspected Cottonwood, Ala., operation that raises dogs to fight hogs, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and local police found 60 dogs in such horrible condition that they rescued them today.
Hog-dog fighting is illegal in Alabama (as well as in Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi), according to the HSUS. During these fights — which are often billed as “family entertainment” — the dogs chase trapped hogs. The dogs are ranked by how quickly they bite a hog’s face and bring the screaming animal down.
“To give the dogs an advantage, handlers may outfit them in Kevlar vests, or cut the hogs’ tusks off,” the HSUS notes. “Dogs in training may be set upon helpless farm hogs. The hogs may die after dogs tear off their snouts, ears or jaws.”
The dogs rescued from the Cottonwood operation are mainly Dogos Argentinos, along with two French Bulldogs and one German Shepherd. Ranging in age from 4 months to teens, the emaciated dogs are suffering from malnutrition, skin infections and other health problems.
Animal cruelty and felony drug-related charges are pending. The operation is still under investigation.
“These dogs are lucky that the authorities responded quickly to this situation,” Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting investigations for the HSUS, said today in a press release. “With the recent cold temperatures and the dogs’ poor condition, they needed immediate attention. We are glad to have been called in to assist in this case, and we will continue to be part of the investigation and prosecution process.”
The dogs were taken to a temporary shelter, where they are being treated by veterinarians. PetSmart Charities is providing supplies and enrichment items for this case.
The HSUS said the dogs will evaluated for potential adoption via its Dogfighting Rescue Coalition, a national network of shelters and rescue groups dedicated to giving the survivors of dog-fighting operations a chance at a new life.
“The cruelty these dogs were shown is painful to see, and we couldn’t stand by and allow them suffer,” Colonel Jim Smith, public safety director for the town of Cottonwood, stated. “We are thankful that the HSUS was able to assist on this case, and especially glad to see these dogs off to better lives.”
To make a $10 donation to the HSUS to help support these rescues, text LOVE to 20222, or go to humanesociety.org/hogdog.
Photos via Facebook