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Injured, abandoned pit bull used in dog fighting, officials say

Posted September 25, 2008
Updated September 26, 2008

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— Animal Control officers believe that a severely injured pit bull mix had been left to die in southeast Raleigh after it was used for dog fighting.

Raleigh Animal Control Officer Stephanie Williams said she got a call from a woman who found the dog – who has been named "Hope" – wandering around her home.

"(I) knew immediately she was involved in a dog fight from the puncture wounds and type of injury to her face," Williams said. "It's the worst facial injury that I've seen before."

The dog is missing part of her nose and has scars all over her body.

(Warning: The video and slideshow contain some graphic images of the dog's injuries.)

Officials with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agreed that the dog's injuries are consistent with those inflicted during dog fighting.

"Although the SPCA doesn't know the exact circumstances that this dog came from, it is clear that she was involved in some sort of dog fighting operation," Mondy Lamb, marketing director for the SPCA of Wake County, said.

"Breeding, fighting, she got past battle scars. ... She has had a rough life in the past."

Williams said that she is concerned about a growing problem of pit bulls being used in dog fighting and then abandoned in Raleigh.

"It happens too often where we find pit bulls that have been injured and dropped off in areas that they don't live there," Williams said.

The SPCA shelter in Garner has taken in Hope. Veterinarian Dr. Alice Hunsucker is treating the dog for infections related to her wounds.

Dr. Adam Birkenheuer, with North Carolina University's veterinary school, was expected to examine the dog Saturday.

"Her immediate health is of much more importance" than repairing the dog's looks, Lamb said, noting that infection is the imminent threat, and that Hope was also diagnosed with heartworms.

"We've got a horrible case of cruelty. We've got a really, really sweet dog that was clearly mistreated by people," Lamb said. "We say there are no bad dogs; there are just bad people, and this dog has been treated very badly."

Hope's personality quickly indicated that she might be a good case for rehabilitation, Lamb said.

"Remarkably, she was still friendly to people. She was upbeat; she was loving," Lamb said. "She was just in a lot of pain, and she was lethargic."

As soon as she is well enough, Hope will be placed in a foster home and put up for adoption.

"Right away, we could see that she had a really great disposition, loved people so much that it made us want to do anything we could to make sure she's got a second chance at a good home," Lamb said.

Williams said that many dogs like Hope do not get a second chance and urged people to report animals they think are being abused.


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  • tank1234 Sep 26, 2008

    I have a pit. She is a good and loving dog. You ever dropped
    this dog off needs jail time. That is wht pits get a bad name. It is the owner that is BAD.....

  • mypuckytaz Sep 25, 2008

    Maybe if more strict sentences (like felonies) were handed down to "creatures" that do things like this to helpless animals - it would not be such a common problem! I hope these people are found and punished to the full extent of the law!

  • readme Sep 25, 2008

    Commentator5, you missed my point completely. Maybe it is news that a half-dead dog was found that had been used for fighting. I am just saying it is an issue of priorities. My friend volunteered at the HS when he was a kid and helped euthanize hundreds of animals (not making this up). One time a nice lady brought in a dog and 9 puppies she decided she didn't want. They were all euthoanized the same day. Injections straight into the heart... they died within a second. This happens every day. At least this dog had a "fighting" chance. I'm not saying the HS should be "no kill" either. I am just saying that we should have perspective here.

  • ifcdirector Sep 25, 2008

    "As I am sure you are aware, animal cruelty is a crime"

    That's a very subjective statement to make in this county and Colon Willoughby's see selective abuse jurisdiction. What you meant to write was "Animal cruelty is a crime unless the offender is a law enforcement officer beating his own animal or poisoning or shooting someone else's animal." Apparently they have carte blanche.

  • ifcdirector Sep 25, 2008

    That's because animals owned this animal and I hope they can be as shamed and incarcerated for a longer period than Michael Vick who is himself getting more civilized currently I am sure. That's all that needs to be said.

  • ShareTheRoad Sep 25, 2008

    My reason for my previous blurb, since space didnt allow for an explanation, lol:

    Just because a dog was used to fight other dogs does not mean it is just as likely to attack a human. They are two completely different traits. This dog, when she is rehomed, will most likely not be allowed to be adopted by a multi-dog home.

    Furthermore, a PROPERLY trained fighting dog won't attack w/o a command to do so. (If you can't imagine this in regards to pit bulls, apply it to working dogs like police dogs...they don't go attacking people on command, and neither do properly trained fighting dogs)

    I'm not *for* fighting animals, but just like pot, maybe if they legalized fighting and regulated it, it wouldn't be the mess that it is these days.

  • ShareTheRoad Sep 25, 2008

    Allow me to school you guys on a bit of pit bull history. I had to research the heck out of the breed before I decided to become a responsible pit bull owner.

    Back in the day, when dog fighting was 'respectable', breeders would, of course, keep the dogs that had traits they desired, and culled (ie: killed) the dogs that did not. The GOOD blood lines have generations of dogs that have desirable traits, such as NO HUMAN AGGRESSION. Research it...it makes sense. If a dog handler had a powerful dog in a match, he needed to be able to handle it w/o getting attacked. There is a difference between animal aggression and human aggression, and the GOOD breeders bred out those who were human aggressive.

    Unfortunately, respectable breeding practices are not the norm these days. Just look at all the PIT PUPS FOR SALE signs you see all over the place. Just backyard breeders doing nothing but mating two unproven dogs to make a buck.

    Research people. Ignorance isn't always bliss. ;)

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 25, 2008

    ""Err, Within the past decade we just started to have the technology and understanding to genetically differentiate the domesticated dog from the wolf."

    No validity to this story at all because genetic markers clearly show that a pit bull is no part wolf." -Rev. RB


    Uhm. First, I included that fact to show that phylogenetic analysis to ascertain breed origin is technologically possible now, where it wasn't a decade ago, hence, our inability to differentiate a dog from a wolf.

    But more importantly, all dogs are "part wolf" in a sense, as it is strongly evidenced that the domestic dog's origin is the wolf.

  • teacher-mom Sep 25, 2008

    God bless her heart. I hope they can find a good home for her.

  • Adelinthe Sep 25, 2008

    "rev and wiffleball check out the number of post when a child is missing or injured compare to the number of post here seems pretty clear what is more important to some."

    No validity in my case, I respond and pray either way.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB