LABELLE -- In early March, Clewiston Animal Control received a dog that was in terrible condition, with deep wounds covering her face, neck, and chest. The dog was transferred to the Caloosa Humane Society. They named her “Hope”.
“Hope is one of Caloosa Humane Society’s medical cases that we took in on March 10, 2021 from Clewiston Animal Control,” the local humane society explained. “Hope was used as a possible bait dog and had battle wounds and scars.”
Dogfighting is an underreported and poorly enforced crime, but it is a felony offense in all 50 states, and it is a felony offense under federal law as well.
Florida is among 20 states that have felony penalties for holding a dogfight, being a spectator at a dogfight, or owning dogs for fighting. All three offenses are classified as third-degree felonies, which carry a maximum fine of $5,000 and a maximum sentence of five years.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), “Typical dogfighting injuries include severe bruising, deep puncture wounds and broken bones. Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion or infection hours or even days after the fight. Otherwise healthy dogs who are born "cold" or won't fight are often used to sic other dogs on as training.”
What exactly happened to Hope, or who owned her previously is not known. What is known is that she is now in a place where she can begin to heal.
“Over the past two weeks as of today, Hope is doing amazing. She is recovering well, and is super sweet,” the Caloosa Humane Society said in an update. “Hope loves her stuffed animals, loves her treats and loves attention.”
Want to join in the efforts to stop dogfighting?
The HSUS recommends, “Learn how to spot the signs of dogfighting. If you suspect dogfighting activity, alert your local law enforcement agency and urge officials to contact the HSUS for practical tools, advice and assistance.”
To learn more about dogfighting, and how you can help stop the abuse, click here: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/dogfighting-fact-sheet