During September 2009, American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services team has been helping care for more than 500 former fighting dogs in eastern Missouri, working alongside the primary sheltering agency, the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO), as well as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The dogs, most of whom are pit bulls, have been evaluated and are being monitored to determine if they can be rehabilitated and adopted.
The dogs were part of the nation’s largest dogfighting case and are connected to the July 8, 2009, multistate federal dogfighting raid that resulted in the dogs’ rescue. Federal agents made 26 arrests and dogs were rescued in eight states. Under contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, the HSMO is managing the sheltering, veterinary care, behavioral evaluation and eventual placement of 407 dogs rescued in Missouri and Illinois and an additional 100 puppies born since the rescue.