Love for a fighting pit bull
PIT BULLS : Specialists say dogs can be adopted
From Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:36 AM CST
BY BILL DOLAN
The Lake County Animal Control Center was credited Monday with keeping several pit bulls alive and well after they were rescued from an alleged dog fighting operation in May.
Members of the Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue visited the pit bulls Monday at the control center, where the dogs have been sheltered for the last eight months.
"The center should be given so much credit," said Debbie Wilke, of the rescue agency. "If they fight with other dogs, other shelters don't give them a chance. They are euthanized. They deserve a chance to be temperament tested."
When 15 pit bulls were seized in May from a Gary firefighter's Calumet Township home many of them were covered with battle scars, embedded collar wounds and other signs of neglect. Injuries show up as spots of white hair in otherwise dark coats.
Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue workers on Monday examined dogs that appear to be most adoptable.
Gizmo, a stippled brown pit bull, was tested as well. Food was placed before him, then dragged away. Tracy Gibson, a rescue worker, roughhoused with the dog, pulling ears, tail and loose skin.
The group tests the dogs to determine if they would snap if accidentally hurt. Gizmo was only mildly irritated.
Mercedes, a female, was much more laid back. She had no teeth. Bully Breed workers said owners often grind down the teeth of less aggressive pit bulls and use them to bait fighting dogs.
Bella, a white pit bull with brown spots, gave dog kisses to all the rescue workers. Dice was cautious. He had lost a fight with a more aggressive dog recently at the center. Charity is a pit bull so afraid of people she had to be carried from her cage to be examined.
Judy Bonaventura, director of the center, said the dogs have gained about three times their scrawny "game weight" since they were found. Pit bulls are sometimes denied food to raise their aggression.
A court ordered the dogs permanently removed from their previous owner, Carlton Davis Jr., last month.
Davis is pleading not guilty to charges of animal cruelty and animal fighting. His trial in Lake Criminal Court is set to begin the week of June 18. Neither he nor his attorney could be reached Monday for comment.
http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/01/23 ... 108359.txt