Dogs rescued from fighting ring continue recovery in KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One day after 38-year-old Pete Davis Jr. and 42-year-old Melvin Robinson pleaded guilty to a federal dog fighting charge, FOX 4 is giving you an exclusive look into how the rehabilitation of the dogs is going.

According to authorities, it was one of the largest dog fighting ring busts in U.S. history with close to 100 dogs seized -- many from a farm in Harrison County, Mo., northeast of the metro area.

The ASPCA says when they went on scene at the end of March, they found dogs with fractured bones -- fresh scars on top of old scars. Court documents describe the inhumane training practices these dogs endured before fights.

Eighty days later, the group says many of these dogs are close to being adoption ready.

"It's heartbreaking to imagine the torture and torment that some of these animals went through," said Tim Rickey, Vice President of Field Investigation and Response for the ASPCA.

Video taken by the organization shows dozens of pit bulls chained outside in freezing conditions.

"I mean these are animals that have been abused in some of the most horrific ways, yet they are still so lovable and friendly to humans," Rickey said.

Video shows some of the dogs seemingly unaffected. Others scared, aggressive and layered with scars, injuries and medical issues.

"Sadly there have been animals that did not survive," Rickey said.

But as the ASPCA, along with many other agencies, including local animal rescue group Wayside Waifs, swooped in and set up emergency shelter in Kansas City. They say the dogs road to recovery started from day one.

"That's why we're here. We're here for the enrichment of the animals and we are just happy to hear that they are on the road to finding a better life," said Jennie Rinas, the communication manager for Wayside Waifs.

Two-hundred-and-fifty responders more than 24,000 man hours have been dedicated to the rehabilitation of the dogs said the ASPCA.

"Some of the medical issues that we have seen, many of these dogs have been able to bounce back and recover from that," Rickey said.

"Each animal is different. Each situation is different and all we can do is everything in our power and all the resources and manpower we have to help those animals become healthy and happy," said Rinas.

None of the now more than 100 pit bulls are ready for adoption just yet. They say this is a long process that needs to be done right but are hopeful to start placing some of the dogs in about a month.


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