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April 10, 2009

Partnering Up for Pit Bulls

New collaboration to save dogfighting victims

The Humane Society of the United States


  • Pit bulls seized from dogfighting operations will be evaluated for adoptability. The HSUS

A summit meeting on pit bulls and other canine victims of animal fighting led to a coalition of groups working together to help the true victims of this organized violence.

The Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Society, and other animal protection organization met in Las Vegas earlier this week to discuss the disposition of dogs seized from dogfighting operations.

Among the outcomes of the meeting:

  • The HSUS has a new policy of recommending that all dogs seized from fighting operations be professionally evaluated, according to agreed upon standards, to determine whether they are suitable candidates for adoption, and that dogs deemed suitable for placement should be offered as appropriate for adoption or to approved rescue organizations. The HSUS will update its law enforcement training manual and other materials to reflect this change in policy.

  • The groups agree that all dogs should be treated as individuals, and they are the true victims of this organized crime. They also agree to support law enforcement and animal control agencies when decisions must be made regarding the dogs deemed unsuitable for adoption and in cases when rescue organizations and adopters are unable, within a reasonable time frame, to accept dogs from such raids that have been offered for adoption.

  • The organizations will form a working group to develop future protocols for cooperation in addressing the needs of dogs seized in raids, such as how to assist with the housing of fighting dogs, how to conduct professional evaluations and how to screen potential adopters.

    The summit meeting was convened to address the matter of dogs seized as a result of cruelty investigations, particularly due to the increase in HSUS-led enforcement actions against dogfighters.

    Participants at the meeting included Best Friends Animal Society, The Humane Society of the United States, BAD RAP, ASPCA, National Animal Control Association, Maddie's Fund, Nevada Humane Society and Spartanburg Humane Society.

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