One year ago today, these two dogs were removed from their chains by a variety of orgs including the Humane Society of Missouri, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and the HSUS and shuffled to safe shelters in what's been called the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history. What a difference a year makes.
To celebrate their Independence Day, we popped a bottle of champagne in the heat of the day after Pit Ed class on Saturday and choked back tears while their new families of two of these survivors signed final adoption papers. "Thank you adopters for being there to give these dogs a home." What would we do without you?
There are dogs all over the country from this bust celebrating their Independence Day today ... maybe some in your circles. If so, we salute them (and you!) for mucking through one hell of a summer last year and for getting the dogs to a safe home or - in many cases - a gentle death in the arms of a friend.
You may have read about Oklahoma Daisy's new people. We were jumping up and down when longtime pit bull advocates Jeanne and Neil brought her home, but behind the scenes, a quieter adoption was going on. Beautiful, sporty, ever-ready-to-party girl 'Mikey' is a survivor from the same bust and she found herself at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, where we met her along with 33 other dogs. She came to us several months ago but has been sorta hidden in the background while we lined up the next phase of her life. A true working dog, Mikey was in need of a real job in order to channel her limitless enthusiasm and drive.
We were thrilled when she was accepted into a police-run bomb detection training program but disappointed when her training class was canceled. That turned out to be big happy for her new person - Sara Scott. Sara has been getting deep into dog training and wanted to challenge herself with a working dog, when - Voila! - the ever-ready Mikey showed up needing a spot. It didn't take much to figure out that Mikey's detection training delay was Sara's green light to enter a new sport. Mikey is now Sara's official sidekick and is being trained for ring sports -- an obedience-based protection sport that doesn't typically utilize pit bulls, but this wild child's got way too much talent to deny. Go Mikey, Go Sara!
We also clinked our plastic champagne glasses over the full adoption of the tender Brutus (below left), one of the handful of survivors from a cruelty case in Oakland this past spring. It was originally announced that all the dogs from this bust were going to be destroyed, but the four arms of this foster home-turned adopters flew up in the air so fast that Brutus was out of harm's way in no time flat. Now a teenager, Brutus lives with diehards Catherine and Brett and his beloved Tulip - the apple of his eye. Independence Day - yes. Welcome home dear Brutus.
We also want to acknowledge the dogs that were saved from torture but who didn't find their forever homes. They were undoubtedly relieved to leave the difficult lives they endured before July 8, 2009. Violet, Freddy, Messy, Jimmy ... Sent here from the Humane Society of Missouri after their release from ... well, it's a long story. You were too broken to help but we embraced you til the end. Edison with your badly deformed knees...You broke our hearts. And the two overwhelmed males who we regret did not receive names.
Recognizing them today as well as the many dogs in Iowa who we could not save but who won our hearts ...
Dede, Fonzie, Hag, Harry, Johnny, Joy, Kenney, Liquer, Porter, Smiling Suzie Q, Sunshine, Thermite, Trooper, Tucker, T-Roy, Balto, Bootie, Carrie, CW, 'D,' Angel, Dusty, Jackson, Reggie, Rosie, Whitney. You're imprinted on our souls, sweet darlings.
And to Snuggle Bear .. who made it to California for a compassion hold and many tears during her good-bye. Forever Independent.
With hundreds rescued, there are so many more dogs to list who are celebrating freedom today, both in our corners and in homes throughout the country. Please list your dogs here in the comments with a link if you have one so we can give them a proper tip of the hat. You know who you are, and we thank you!