October 13th, 2022
By Devon Krusko, Field Services and Community Programs Manager
When we received a deployment request from our friends at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to assist with the daily care of dogs rescued from an alleged dogfighting operation, my eyes welled up and my chest tightened. It is beyond heartbreaking that this is still occurring across the country, with dogs inhumanely housed, poorly treated, and forced to fight for profit. It is brutal, violent, and simply inexcusable. In this particular case, 275 dogs, across multiple properties, were removed from chains and barren yards with dogfighting paraphernalia scattered around the premises. Many dogs had severely infected wounds and others were permanently scarred by injuries they had miraculously survived.
Our RedRover Responders team worked hard to prepare temporary shelter at a confidential location for the dogs, ensuring that all spacious enclosures were secure, prepped, and ready for arrival with soft bedding and fresh water.
When I first laid eyes on the dogs, it was impossible not to feel overwhelmed with emotions for the very apparent trauma and pain they had been through. Yet the dogs were resilient – some tentatively soliciting for attention and affection, others so excited to bury their sweet little faces into cuddles that they could hardly stand it. Despite such cruelty, many of the dogs crave human interaction and comfort.
The first days of their new lives were a whirlwind. All dogs were settled into their new spaces, received daily enrichment, three meals a day on a schedule, and felt the joy of gentle affection. All were thoroughly examined by a veterinarian, many receiving much-needed vet care, and our volunteers worked diligently to begin a daily care routine that the dogs could get used to. Many of them even played with Kongs and Nyla bones for the first time!
There’s nothing like seeing animals who have suffered immensely lean into the safety of pets, pressing their scarred muzzles into warm hugs. Thank you for helping us be there for animals when they need us most.