They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. We think this one’s worth about eleventy million.
Five years after they arrived in California, seven of the dogs seized from quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation got together for a group photo with their new owners.
The reunion came during a celebration of that anniversary at Bad Rap, one of the two California organizations that took in Vick dogs, determined to rehabilitate the animals some were arguing were violent and aggressive and should be put down.
Here’s a video recapturing the taking of the photo:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, anniversary, bad rap, california, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, pets, photo, photography, pit bulls, pitbulls, rehabilitate, rehabilitated, rehabilitation, reunion, seized, vick dogs
Michelle is the first of what’s known as the “Pit 6” to be cleared for adoption. She was among a group of dogs seized from Larry Alston when he was arrested at a home in the Woodlawn area on charges of animal cruelty and mutilation.
Baltimore County police said there was evidence the dogs had been used for fighting.
Humane Society officials don’t know if Michelle was used in dog fights, but she was apparently used to produced litters of fighters while Alston was living in South Carolina.
She has scars on her nose and above her left eye, and marks on both of her front legs suspected to have been left by the metal grips of a device used to hold her still for forced breeding.
Alston, 37, was charged with 22 counts of violating various animal cruelty laws, including charges of mutilating the animals.
On Monday, he was sentenced in Baltimore County Circuit Court to three years in prison for animal cruelty.
Michelle and Alston’s other surviving dogs spent nearly two years in the Baltimore County animal shelter, as Alston’s criminal case dragged on. They were released late last year to animal advocates, and eventually taken in by the shelter to be rehabilitated.
The Humane Society is still working to rehabilitate and socialize the other dogs, Shelley, Meme, Tippy, Meris and Bridgett.
Michelle is 4 1/2 years old, and shelter officials want to see her go to a home without other dogs, and without young children.
A humane society press release describes her this way:
“Michelle is a petite Staffordshire with a beautiful smile when she greets you at the front of her kennel. The “Pit 6,” five females and one male, were found by the police locked in undersized cages. They are believed to have been used as bait dogs. Bait dogs are typically less tough than others and used as practice targets for dogs training to fight. The “Pit 6” were all emaciated with multiple burn and bite scars. They also showed signs of overbreeding – in other words they were repeatedly raped. In dogfighting rings it is not unusual for bait dogs to endure severe pain. Frequently they are wounded, drowned, electrocuted, slammed to the ground, shot, or left to die a slow and painful death from their open wounds.”
The humane society added, “It’s always cause for celebration when an abused dog gets a second chance at a good life, but in the case of the Pit 6 it’s a landmark. That’s because animals held as evidence in severe animal abuse and dog fighting cases are typically euthanized once the case is complete.”
In the case of the Pit 6, animal rescue advocates and Baltimore Humane Society were able to convince the Baltimore County Attorney, State’s Attorney, and Baltimore County Animal Control that the dogs deserved a second chance.
“Michelle demonstrates that even dogs who come from such violent, abusive backgrounds can become loving family pets. Baltimore Humane Society hopes she and the remaining Pit 6 will be used as an example for dog fighting and other animal abuse cases across the nation.”
For more information about Michelle and other dogs at the Baltimore Humane Society, visit www.bmorehumane.org or call 410-833-8848.
(Photo by Mary Swift, Mary Swift Photography)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, bait dogs, baltimore county, baltimore humane society, breeding, bridgett, charges, cleared, court, cruelty to animals, device, dogfighting, dogs, forced, larry alston, maryland, meme, meris, michelle, pets, pit 6, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, rape, rehabilitated, reisterstown, shelley, shelters, socialized, staffordshire, terrier, tippy