Last summer, about 60 miles from my house, nearly 100 dogs were seized in a dog-fighting operation bust. The dogs were chained to trees through 15 acres of woods. Each dog had a barrel to use for shelter and a tire to collect the rainwater that served as their drinking water. It’s believed that the dogs were fed only once or twice a week – and that was the extent of their human interaction, except for when they were taken to fights.
When rescuers arrived on the scene, they faced a range of health problems, including dogs whose chains had become embedded into their necks. However, despite the horrid conditions, the dogs were able to be handled by the rescuers as they were cut from their chains and received medical treatment. The dogs were evaluated on site, cataloged, triaged based on health issues, then placed in shelters and kennels across Indiana to await their fate.
Dog Rescue in Indiana
An Indianapolis-based pit bull rescue, Casa del Toro (http://www.casadeltoro.org/), housed the most problematic dogs, those with more severe injuries or behavior problems. One of those dogs was Kammie. Kammie was selected by Casa del Toro because of her health problems.
They suspected that she had a luxating patella, which means Kammie’s kneecap dislocates. Upon evaluation, they discovered that Kammie had two luxating patellas that were severe enough that surgery wasn’t an option. But despite her background and her health conditions, Kammie’s spirit wasn’t broken!
Kammie Never Lost Her Ability to Love
“The thing that sticks out the most with Kammie is her deep affinity for people,” said Laurie Adams, founder of Casa del Toro. “It’s like she can’t get close enough to her person. It’s like she has had this new world opened up to her that’s just full of people, and she loves it.”
Casa del Toro is fundraising to get Kammie a tricked-out wagon. A local car dealership has offered to paint a wagon hot pink with flames and the slogan: I’m a lover, not a fighter. Kammie is attending several events to spread public awareness about dog fighting, and to serve as a positive example of just how resilient these dogs can be.
Currently, Kammie is enjoying the “softer” things in life, like a sofa she can burrow into and lots of people to snuggle with her, while she awaits adoption. And because of Kammie’s health problems, she has attracted the perfect potential adopters; a vet and his family have fallen in love with Kammie.
“She’s the true meaning of what a companion animal is,” said Adams. “They all are, and we celebrate them as they enter their new lives.”
Dog Fighting is More Pervasive Than You Might Think
Unfortunately, dog fighting is more pervasive than many people think. Until the high-profile busts in 2009, dog fighting was flying under the radar. Now, with increased awareness, dog fighters are getting caught. So what can you do if you suspect someone is fighting dogs?
- Report suspicious activity to local police and humane officers.
- Writer letters to law enforcement officers and your local, state, and federal government urging them to take dog fighting seriously.
- Call the Humane Society of the United States’ anonymous tip line, 1-877-TIP-HSUS.
Resource: The Humane Society’s Dog Fighting Fact Sheet