League Takes in Ten Pit Bulls from Suspected Dogfighting Operation in Ohio

September 20, 2010

(September 18, 2010) Washington, DC – The Washington Animal Rescue League (the League) is taking in 10 of the more than 200 pit bulls surrendered to officials after the Humane Society of the United States and local officials carried out an investigation and search warrant at a property in rural Southeastern Ohio.  The owner of the dogs, who also surrendered 300 other animals—chickens, turkeys, boars, and reptiles—was arrested on drug and weapons charges.

The dogs will be evaluated and treated at the League’s full-service, state-of-the-art Medical Center, and the professionally certified behavior and training staff will assist them in overcoming any socialization problems and psychological traumas.

“We took the lead in the rehabilitation of eleven of Michael Vick’s pit bulls,” recalls Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO, “So we are prepared for what these dogs might need to recover both physically and emotionally.  Our mission mandates that we rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals who have nowhere else to go, and these dogs certainly qualify.  With its full-service Medical Center and team of certified, professional behavior and training specialists, we are well prepared for the challenges these dogs will present.  We know we can help them and we welcome them with open arms.”

Although no animal-related charges are currently being levied against the arrested man, Ohio officials called the case a “hoarding” situation and described the conditions at the property as abusive and neglectful.  The Humane Society of the United States is overseeing the animals’ rescue, placing them with different shelters in Ohio and around the country.

At the League, the dog’s evaluations, treatments, and medical and psychological recoveries are expected to take a long time compared to those of the other animals at the rehabilitation center in Northwest Washington.  The ultimate goal is to place them in adoptive homes, but “the dogs may not be ready for that for weeks, and perhaps even months,” according to Jamie Scotto, director of adoptions/rescue.

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