October 2, 2007

"An incredibly uplifting and inspiring outcome"

Friendly boy's gonna be all right. Thanks, ASPCA! Thanks, BAD RAP!

Dog news of the day, from AP via the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

All but one of the 49 remaining pit bulls seized from a home owned by suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick at the outset of a dogfighting investigation have placement potential, according to a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

One of the dogs has a history of biting people and should be euthanized, according to the motion, which cites extensive behavioral testing done on all the dogs seized from the property in rural Surry County, Va. It says the dogs were put through a protocol of 11 exercises to evaluate their behavior toward humans and other animals.

The behavioral testing was carried out Sept. 4-6 by a team of animal experts assembled by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The dogs were placed into five categories ranging from could be rehabilitated and eventually be adopted to euthanasia for dogs exhibiting intense aggression toward people or suffering from a significant medical condition.

The categories also include one for dogs that could potentially be placed in specialized training for law enforcement work, and Sanctuary I and Sanctuary II for dogs that either exhibit fear toward people and need to be socialized under supervision, to dogs that react mildly to intensely to stimulus and require more extensive help.

Only one of the 49 dogs was deemed unfit for rehabilitation and recommended for euthanasia, which order was entered yesterday by Judge Henry E. Hudson.

“The ASPCA—which was founded to fight cruelty 141 years ago—has been honored to assist federal investigators in this groundbreaking case, from participating in the investigation itself, to leading the behavior evaluations, and we greatly appreciate the trust placed in us,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “More than anything, I am extremely proud of the dedication and collaboration demonstrated by the behaviorists who evaluated the dogs—that almost all these dogs can expect to live long and happy lives is an incredibly uplifting and inspiring outcome to this case.”

Huge, huge props to California's own BAD RAP, whose tireless experts have shown time and again that abused pit bulls and pit bulls from fighting backgrounds can live safe, happy lives in responsible homes. On the BAD RAP Blog, Donna Reynolds writes:

For an insider's scoop on how this is even possible - Abused pit bulls with placement potential? - we'll have to refer you to Sophie.

And of course, Pearl. And Katie Jane. And all the good pit bulls that deserve fair evaluations and good homes.

I'm guessing that food, shelter and training for these dogs won't cost the taxpayer a dime --- it'll come out of Michael Vick's pocket.

Game-bred pit bulls --- and Vick seems to have had the real deal --- tend to have sound, people-friendly temperaments and the resilience to survive extreme abuse, heart whole. I hope the example of these dogs will help save the lives of other friendly, stable pit bulls confiscated from dog fighters.

No comments: