The Difficulties of Rescuing Fight Dogs
"Busting a breeder means taking custody of the dogs, yet no police department or sheriff's office has the resources to kennel, treat and attempt to rehabilitate dozens, let alone hundreds, of abused animals," writes David von Drehle in the Time article.
After the Missouri raid, authorities suddenly had about 470 (some estimated more than 500) dogs on their hands -- vicious dogs that required immediate rehousing, followed by weeks of long-term rehabilitation. The dogs were seized not just in Missouri, but also in Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma, according to the Humane Society of Missouri, which was helped in the months of planning leading up to the raid by countless animal-rights groups.
The Humane Society of Missouri lined up an abandoned warehouse, outfitted with triage areas and hundreds of wire cages, located in an undisclosed location in St. Louis. Why undisclosed?
As a spokesperson for the Humane Society of Missouri says in this video, "It is a secret facility because dog fighters are very dangerous people, and we have some serious concerns for the safety of our staff and the volunteers that are here, and also for the dogs. Many of these dogs are worth thousands of dollars."
Ultimately, a U.S. District Court will determine the fate of each dog: whether to be adopted out to an individual; to be sent to a rehabilitation facility; or perhaps, one imagines, to be euthanized. Which brings up yet another important question: Can a rescued attack dog ever be fully accepted into a home, a neighborhood or a society without it having to endure a lifelong stigma?
We sure hope so.