JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

From Shelter to Safety

MISSION VIEJO Phoenix rubbed his earless, scarred head against Tiffany Norton’s hand, pushing for a pat.

The emaciated German shepherd mix had just come out of a bath Tuesday to soothe his infected, flea-covered body. The dog was rescued Monday by Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, which took Phoenix out of a Downey shelter hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized, and brought him to the Alicia Pet Care Center.

Rescuers think Phoenix, about 5, was used as a bait dog – a submissive dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs-in-training. He was found as a stray a few days ago, said Norton, the rescue group’s director.

That’s typical, according to officials with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.

“We usually see the dogs after they’ve been in fights and are discarded in trash bins or as stray dogs wandering in the alley,” officer Ramon Munez said. “We have some weeks where we’ll see a lot, and then it will ebb off. The (Los Angeles) district attorney has put out a hot line.”

Dogfighting is rare in Orange County, O.C. Animal Care Director Ryan Drabek said. The agency has not investigated a professional dogfighting ring in nine years, he said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department also rarely comes across such cases, said Capt. Don Barnes, who oversees the department’s South County operations.

“We had a few animal cruelty calls last year, but none of them were related to dogfighting,” he said.

Matthew Wheaton, the veterinarian at Alicia Pet Care who is helping Phoenix, said dogfights were regular events when he worked in emergency clinics in Los Angeles County.

“This is really over the top,” he said. “What makes it clear that he was a bait dog is that his ears were completely cut off. They’re not doctor-cropped. They’re gone.”

Wheaton said a bait dog’s ears, which can be easily injured in a fight, are cut off to eliminate the potential for wounds that would have to be treated.

Wheaton said Phoenix shows other features of being a bait dog, including evidence his jaw had been wired or bound shut to prevent him from hurting the fight dog. He is also submissive.

“While fighting dogs are well taken care of, bait dogs are the bottom of the barrel. It’s super-sad,” Wheaton said. “They are beaten down and scared.”

Wounds on Phoenix’s head suggest he probably fought within the past two weeks, Wheaton said.

Phoenix was set to be euthanized Monday, but a shelter volunteer asked for a day’s reprieve. She took his photo and sent messages to rescue groups.

Norton got hundreds of e-mails from people who know she rescues German shepherds.

“When I saw his photo, I knew I had to do something,” Norton said. “Tuesday morning I picked him up. He’s a leaner – he wants to be attached to you all the time. If you move, he moves with you.”

Norton said she hopes to find a home for Phoenix and raise funds for his medical care.

“We’re looking for a softhearted family who can look past his injuries and assure that he will have a good life,” she said. “He lights up when he sees friendly animals and is great with kids.”

For more information or to help, call 714-528-4730.

Earless Dog Used As Bait in Fights Rescued

Article Tab : Rescuers think Phoenix was used as a bait dog, essentially a dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs that are training.

Rescuers think Phoenix was used as a bait dog, essentially a dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs that are training.

KEN STEINHARDT, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

MISSION VIEJO – Phoenix rubbed his earless, scarred head against Tiffany Norton’s hand, pushing for a pat.

The emaciated German shepherd-mix had just come out of a bath on Tuesday to soothe his infected, flea-covered body. The dog was rescued on Monday by Coastal German Shepherd Rescue from a shelter in Downey – hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized – and brought to Alicia Pet Care Center.

Rescuers believe Phoenix, about 5 years old, was used as a bait dog – essentially a submissive dog that is confined and attacked by fight dogs-in-training. He was found as a stray a few days ago, said Norton, the rescue’s director.

That’s typical, according to officials with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.

"We usually see the dogs after they’ve been in fights and are discarded in trash bins or as stray dogs wandering in the alley," Officer Ramon Muñez said. "We have some weeks where we’ll see a lot and then it will ebb off. The (Los Angeles) District Attorney has put out a hotline. We get tips from that, 911 and Animal Control."

Dog fighting is rare in Orange County, OC Animal Care Director Ryan Drabek said.. The agency has not investigated a professional dog-fighting ring in the last nine years, he said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department also rarely comes across such cases, said Capt. Don Barnes, who oversees the department’s South County Operations.

"We had a few animal cruelty calls last year, but none of them were related to dog fighting," he said.

Matthew Wheaton, the veterinarian at Alicia Pet Care who is helping Phoenix, said dog fights and their aftermath were regular events when he worked in emergency clinics in Los Angeles County.

"This is really over the top," he said. "What makes it clear that he was a bait dog is that his ears were completely cut off. They’re not doctor-cropped, they’re gone."

Wheaton said a bait dog’s ears – which can be easily injured in a fight – are cut off to eliminate the potential for wounds to them that would have to be treated.

Wheaton said Phoenix shows other features of being a bait dog, including evidence his jaw had been wired or bound shut to prevent him from hurting the fight dog. He is also extremely submissive.

"While fighting dogs are well-taken-care-of, bait dogs are the bottom of the barrel – it’s super sad," Wheaton said. "They are beaten down and scared."

Wounds on Phoenix’s head suggest he was probably fought within the last two weeks, Wheaton said.

Phoenix was set to be euthanized Monday, but a shelter volunteer asked for a day’s reprieve. She took his photo and sent out messages to rescue groups.

Norton was inundated with hundreds of e-mails from people who knew she rescues German shepherds.

"When I saw his photo, I knew I had to do something," Norton said. "Tuesday morning I picked him up. He’s a leaner; he wants to be attached to you all the time. If you move, he moves with you. He has a really soulful spirit, he’s wise beyond his years and he’s super cuddly. When he came here he just started cuddling up with a kitten. When you think of what he’s been through – he holds no grudges."

Norton said she hopes to find a home for Phoenix and to raise funds for his medical care.

"We’re looking for a soft-hearted family who can look past his injuries and assure that he will have a good life," she said. "He lights up when he sees friendly animals and is great with kids."

Video and More Photos Here

For more information or to help, call 714-528-4730. Coastal German Shepherd has 125 rescued puppies and dogs waiting for more homes.

To read about other rescues, click here.

Contact the writer: 949-454-7307 or eritchie@ocregister.com

Comment:

SWEETTROSE  -  3:36 PM on September 16, 2010

This story broke my heart. I hope and pray that Phoenix finds the love that he deserves and that the individuals who did this feel the same pain and suffering in their own lives!

Dogs are mans best friend, they are put on this earth to please us and want nothing in return but love. That’s a simple request, isn’t it?

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

Video:  The Lost Dogs

Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick’s brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant’s Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.

As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope.

Learn more at http://bit.ly/9EXWtj

Related:

Top 5 Myths about Pit Bulls

American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs… In Memory of Ace

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Posted:  Just One More Pet

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September 17, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. […] From Shelter to Safety […]

    Pingback by Dog Fighting Must Be Knocked Out « JustOneMorePet | October 4, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] From Shelter to Safety  –  The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption […]

    Pingback by Redemption Now Available as an E-Book! | askmarion | May 3, 2011 | Reply


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