A tragic discovery was recently made in a rural ranch in Idaho. Three adults were shot and killed, but two children at the scene, a two-year-old and two-month-old, were found physically unharmed. The baby was found under the arm of her deceased mother, who apparently tried to protect her newborn daughter at the time of her death. Both children are now safe with other family members — and hopefully will have no memory of this horrific life-altering day.
As officers arrived on the grisly scene, it became apparent that this isolated ranch was also a dog-fighting compound. Sixty-three pit bulls were found – most of which were in hideous condition. The Idaho Humane Society (IHS) has taken over the care for these poor animals. According to the IHS, “most of the dogs are underweight and suffering from malnutrition. Many of them have open cuts and extensive scarring from old wounds and have skin, eye, and ear ailments resulting from neglect of their basic care. A few dogs have old injuries of broken bones that were left untreated.”
But as a testament to the generous spirit of these dogs, who have obviously been severely abused and neglected, the majority of the canines were reported by the IHS to be friendly and accepting of handling by people. “It’s heartbreaking the treatment some of these animals have endured,” said Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, “but they’re resilient and getting lots of care and attention.” Many of the pit bulls are surprisingly playful and are romping around the exercise yard. Maybe they intuitively understand that the worst is over.
Further behavioral assessments will be necessary to see if these dogs can be rehabilitated and adopted, but the IHS is hopeful. Since these dogs have been bred to fight other dogs, one of the primary concerns is how they will interact with other canines. IHS has experience with pit bulls, as they are the second most common breed that end up at their facility. The IHS does not, however, have significant experience with dogs bred specifically for fighting, so two national experts on the subject are flying in this weekend to consult with them.
The Idaho Humane Society is currently unable to accept offers for hands-on assistance due to the crisis nature of this situation, but donations for their care, feeding and veterinary expenses are urgently needed and can be made at www.idahohumanesociety.com. Additionally, IHS is not seeking foster homes or permanent homes until a full assessment can be made on each dog. As the dogs become available for adoption, the IHS will make announcements on their website.
Even though this is a sad story on many levels, the children and dogs can hopefully close this tragic chapter on their lives and move forward to a place where they are loved, respected and treated with compassion. I am hopeful, as I see each one of them, child and dog, in the near future enjoying many sunny, carefree romps in the grass — as every dog and child should.
Please “like” this article on Facebook, leave comments, pass the story on, and encourage others to donate to the Idaho Humane Society. To start the ball rolling, I will donate 10% of my next Care2 paycheck to the Idaho Humane Society. Thank you for your support and for caring about these abused dogs in Idaho.