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Vigil planned for 145 euthanized pit bulls


A candlelight vigil will be held in Raleigh Wednesday night for the 145 pits bulls — including dozens of puppies like this one — that were euthanized after being seized by authorities from a big-time breeder of fighting dogs in North Carolina.

The vigil starts at 7 p.m. at Bicentennial Mall, 16 W. Jones St., in Raleigh, near the North Carolina General Assembly. Here’s a map.

Organizers of the vigil hope it will lead to changes in the law to guarantee that dogs seized from dogfighting operations have the opportunity to be individually evaluated, rather than being automatically deemed “dangerous” and destroyed.

The recent mass euthanasia of 145 dogs — including puppies born between the time they were seized from breeder Ed Faron and the conclusion of his court case — prompted the candlelight vigil, said Laura Gonzo, one of the organizers. The dogs were seized from Faron’s Wildside Kennels.

Wilkes County authorities said their laws required them to euthanize the dogs. Unlike those seized in the higher profile Michael Vick case, no efforts were made by the government, lawyers or major rescue organizations to save these, at least not until it was too late.

Concerned citizens and representatives of animal rescue groups from across the state are planning to attend the vigil.

“We are so thankful that law enforcement and the courts took the crime of dogfighting serious and that it led to a guilty plea by the dog fighter,” Gonzo said. “But people across North Carolina, as well other parts of the country, expressed outrage because none of the dogs or 75 puppies from the dog fighter’s breeding operation were given any opportunity to be evaluated individually and the dogs were all destroyed. We North Carolina humanitarians are calling on the legislature to act to prevent future tragedies.” Gonzo said.

(Photo courtesy of Laura Gonzo)


Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time March 2, 2009 at 8:05 am

This is an outrageous injustice piled upon injustice. Those who decided mass euthanasia are as despicable as the dog-fighters. The puppies too??!! The hysteria and utter bias that people exhibit about these dogs is unbelievable. The recovery of the Vick dogs should be enough story and evidence, but there is still much work and education to do.

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time March 2, 2009 at 10:40 am

We have had a death in our human family, or else I would try to drive down and attend this. I’ll be thinking of everyone at 7 this evening.