DATE: August 26, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Mendheim, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption
Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division has partnered with Fort Lauderdale Police to help save a group of 11 female American Staffordshire Terrier/Lab-mix dogs that were used for baiting and breeding purposes as part of a suspected dog-fighting ring.
The malnourished and severely underweight dogs had been hidden away in cages or tethered by massive chains to trees in the backyard of a Lauderdale Manors home. The animals were found recently in very poor physical condition and living in deplorable conditions. Many were missing hair with signs of significant scarring from old fight injuries.
While dog-fighting rings are thought to be less common in Broward County, the discovery of this group of dogs is disturbing.
“We only learned about these dogs as a result of a phone call we received from a concerned resident. That is why community involvement and support is so important when it comes to these types of cases," said Lisa Mendheim, public education coordinator with Broward County Animal Care and Adoption. "Based on the results of the investigation, we teamed with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to help remove these dogs from what was obviously a very abusive existence. Our immediate goal was to rescue the dogs and assess their behavior to determine if they were good candidates to be rehabilitated. So far, the dogs have responded very well and seem relieved to be out of harm’s way. Now the challenge is to find them new and loving homes where they can put this chapter of their lives behind them.”
To assist in the care and rehabilitation of the dogs, Animal Care is working with the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation, as well as representatives from No Kill Nation to sponsor the on-going medical care and behavioral training they may need.
“This situation is a prime example of how good dogs can be abused at the hands of unscrupulous owners," said Dahlia Canes, Founder/Director, Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation. "Apparently, not only were these female dogs used as bait for training other dogs to fight, but the evidence indicates they were also being used for breeding. Working with Broward County’s Animal Care and Adoption staff, our mission will now be to get these ladies the care they need and find them the loving homes they deserve.”
Fort Lauderdale Police are continuing their investigation in order to find the male dogs associated with the suspected dog fighting ring, that are believed to be the primary fight dogs. Members of the public are being asked to call Fort Lauderdale Police at 954-828-5700 if they have any information about this recent incident, or other suspected local dog fighting rings.
The Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division is dedicated to providing shelter for lost and homeless pets. Each year, the Adoption Center provides another chance for thousands of dogs and cats hoping for a new home. Please prevent the birth of unwanted animals and have your pet spayed or neutered. Financial assistance is available to income qualifying individuals who want to have their pets sterilized. For more information about the Adoption Center in Fort Lauderdale and these programs, visit Broward.org/Animal, follow on twitter.com/BrowardPetPals or "like us" on Facebook.