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November 16, 2009

Rescued Puppies Ask Legislators To Help Less Lucky Dogs

Ambassadors for Indiana's fighting dogs

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Arlo and Plum pose on the Indiana statehouse steps. Anne Sterling/The HSUS

  • Rep. Lawson holds Sukie in front of the Indiana statehouse. Anne Sterling/The HSUS

by Julie Hauserman

Three puppies rescued from a dogfighting ring stuck their tiny wet noses into politics at Indiana's Capitol this month.

The exuberant 13-week-old pit bulls came to the statehouse with Anne Sterling, Indiana state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

Sterling figured that the pups, rescued in August, were appropriate companions for her visits with two state legislators from Indiana, Rep. Linda Lawson and Sen. Jim Arnold.

Rep. Lawson and Sen. Arnold are sponsors of a bill this year that would strengthen the state's anti-cruelty laws by making it a felony to be a spectator at a dogfight.

"The puppies were a big hit," reports Sterling. "It was really nice to have them be representatives for all the dogs who are suffering in dogfighting rings."

Saved from A Life of Fighting

The baby pit bulls were still nursing when they were rescued in an Aug. 11 raid on dogfighting operations in Indiana. The Indiana Gaming Commission and Indiana State Police led the raid and requested help from HSUS animal fighting experts to aid the investigation.

One person was arrested and 109 dogs, including a nursing mother with week-old pups, were rescued.

Shelters and rescue groups stepped in to care for the influx of pit bulls. When one shelter had trouble finding people to foster the puppies, Sterling agreed to take them home and care for them. The puppies were in poor health, with kennel cough and parasites, but gradually they grew stronger.

Available for Adoption

Last week, the dogs were released into the care of Casa Del Toro, a pit bull rescue group in Indianapolis. After their Capitol foray, the puppies are being offered for adoption.

These pups will get the chance to live their lives with plenty of calm, love, and treats, instead of the violent cruelty they once faced.

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