Archive for Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sixteen of 27 dogs rescued from Independence dog-fighting operation tested, ready for adoption

December 29, 2010


Sixteen of 27 dogs rescued in October from a dog-fighting operation in Independence are ready for adoption — including several in Lawrence that are rested, tested and looking for homes for the new year.

The dogs, all of them pit bulls, are available for adoption by licensed rescue operators or regular folks looking for loyal canine companions.

Each animal has been temperament-tested through Game Dog Guardian, a Lawrence organization led by Anthony Barnett, who is a board member at the Lawrence Humane Society. The organization also plans to provide the dogs with training in general obedience skills.

“As far as physical things, the dogs look good,” said Midge Grinstead, executive director of the Humane Society. “One is very timid and fearful, and the others are coming along very well. …

“These dogs were used and abused. They’re great dogs. They make really loyal companions. It’s good to see them treated so well and (ready to) get a loving home.”

For more information about the animals or potential adoptions, contact the Humane Society at 843-6835, or Katie Barnett, president of the Kansas University chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, at 832-8100 or


ksrush 7 years, 3 months ago

ksrush (anonymous) says… Those dogs should be put down. Any animal raised and trained to fight or " used and abused" is a time bomb waiting to go off. It probably shouldn't amaze me the humane society is stupid enough to let these types of animals into homes of people who have no clue as to what they are capable of. I have dealt with numerous animals the Lawrence Humane Society has incorrectly evaluated for temperament - scary.

" One is very timid and fearful" - that's a fear biter, they wont take as big a chunk of flesh as the ones that dont show fear.

Yes its harsh and cold but after decades of dog training this is beyond basic common sense. If you are detemined to get one of these animals at least get something in writting from the humane society as to the dogs temperament - it may come in handy when you sue them to pay for medical bills.

Liberty275 7 years, 3 months ago

First off, the people running the dogfight enterprises should do hard time if they are found guilty. The concept of pitting animals that have been close and loyal companions to men for thousands of years against one-another is sickening. No pity. None.

Mr ksrush. I think you are painting with too broad a brush for two reasons. First, the dogs which may be adopted have been judged safe by experts that have worked with the dogs. Second, there do exist people that can deal with "time bomb" dogs and that are willing to give these dogs a chance at a normal dog's life.

Our chow was a "time bomb" to the point he tried to bite the vet putting him down when I felt the cancer had taken it's toll. One of the hardest and saddest decisions I've ever made was when his time had come. I dreaded cheating him a day of the best life we could provide him.

In his time he bit me a dozen times (the worst while trying to break up the fight between him and the akita) and my wife once or twice. Despite that, he was part of our family and there was no way we would abandon him. We were careful to keep him restrained in public and rarely allowed other near him. We were responsible for our "time bomb" and he never caused anyone other than my wife and I any harm. However, it is a fact that when a rash of burglary hit our neighborhood, nothing in our house was ever touched, I suspect because of our "time bomb".

You may not see a reason for giving these dogs a chance, but I do.

I expect the Humane Society will be judicious in finding responsible people to care for the abused dogs they adopt.

mushfish 7 years, 3 months ago

These dogs are proffesionally evaluated and most of them are sweet and friendly..I've been around many pitbulls that have been forced to fight. They are still so sweet and loving.They ae not time are misinformed..KSrush a pit bull with an unknown history should be judged by his temperament, not by his unknown past or lack of papers. Putting a rescued pit bull through many different kinds of "tests" in many different situations and fostering him in a home setting helps one learn about the ins and outs of each pit bull taken in. Becoming well acquainted with a rescued animal helps to match each dog to the home best suited for his personality

ksayswhat 7 years, 3 months ago

Your way of thinking should be put down. I'd be interested to know what, if any, type of dog training you have exactly. We don't have the country's best Humane Society, but they do a great job with what they are given. I'm sorry you had a poor experience with them, but I've had to deal with them a few times and even adopted a wonderful animal there and they have been nothing but great each time. Sorry to sound sore, but I grew up with a pit and he was a great family dog. He wasn't a rescued dog, but I have met several pits that have been rescued from cruel situations and they have all been sweet and extremely lovable beings. Dogs, like people, have different personalities. I do not disagree with the fact that some rescued dogs can not be reintroduced into having a normal life with normal owners. However to generalize and say that they should ALL be put down, is just ignorant.

Jenni Allen 7 years, 3 months ago

i agree totally with you those dogs should all be put down,you can't trust a pit- not to turn on you, a child, or even another dog

LHS56 7 years, 3 months ago

I believe the employees at the Humane Society are qualified to determine the safety of an animal in one's home. We have taken three of their "animals" into our home - at the recommendatyion of staff - and are very pleased. I'm sorry ksrush, but perhaps you were dealing with another Humane Society other than Lawrence.

chocolateplease 7 years, 3 months ago

What happens if one of these dogs, after being adopted, undergoes stress? Will they revert to agressive behavior? How old are the dogs, and how long had they been subjected to abuse before the rescue? It's hard to imagine how you could trust a pit bull that was formerly abused and used in fighting. I wouldn't want them around children, or running loose. I hope the criteria for those adopting them is strict and adequate, as I'd hate to see anyone get hurt.

mushfish 7 years, 3 months ago

I have a pitbull that I rescued from a shelter. She is a great little dog. No more vicious than golden retrievers, beagles or other popular dogs! In a recent study of 122 dog breeds by the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS), pit bulls achieved a passing rate of 83.9%. That's as good or better than beagles ... 78.2%, and golden retrievers ... 83.2%. How did your favorite breed do? See for yourself:

In the ATTS test, a dog is put through a series of confrontational situations. Any sign of panic or aggression leads to failure of the test. The achievement of pit bulls in this study disproves once and for all the old tired belief that pit bulls are inherently aggressive to people.

Like any breed of dog, a healthy pit bull that is properly raised will remain loving and friendly. In the past 20 years, we've seen some sad examples of poorly bred and badly treated dogs that are the byproducts of irresponsible 'backyard breeders' and cruel and abusive homes. These improperly raised, unsocialized creatures can show temperaments far removed from the traditional authentic pit bull. Don't confuse these unfortunate misbreds with the huge majority of well-loved dogs in this country that remain solid in temperament, affectionate, trustworthy and friendly to their dying day.

mrbig 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for this! I routinely try to explain to people that true APBTs have a better temperment score than many other seemingly nonthreatening breeds. There have been studies that show that pit bulls have bitten more people each year than any other breed so they are violent dogs- but this is so misleading because there is such a large population of pits and pit mixes so of course there would be a larger scale of pit bites.

BrianR 7 years, 3 months ago

Because dogs can be rehabilitated. You claim to be a trainer, you should know that.

domino 7 years, 3 months ago

I, too, am a little suprised at these dogs being adopted out. I hate to lump any breed of dog into a catagory of any type, however, different breeds are more prone to different things. Pit Bulls can be wonderful pets, but I would be very skeptical of adopting one of these dogs who had been trained for fighting. I hope they are very particular about who they adopt thee dogs out to and the new owners are very aware of these dogs at all times. I would hate for anything bad to happen.

BrianR 7 years, 3 months ago

Some of the dogs in question could have been bait dogs or dogs not yet trained to fight, the story really doesn't talk about that.

mrbig 7 years, 3 months ago

Many of the dogs that Michael Vick fought were successfully adopted out, and live good lives now. While some of the dogs rescued may not have the temperment to be reintroduced into normal homes- I'm sure that many of them will never have a problem. Most APBT adoption agencies carefully select homes by what preexisting pets the owners have, children, and the owners' knowledge of the breed.

I personally have 3 APBTs, and they are all great with my 2 year old daughter. In fact, the one with the best temperment I took from someone in Lawrence who cut off his ears himself, beat him, and starved him to try to prep him for fighting. He is the mellowest dog. Even when other dogs bite and growl at him at the dog park he just lays down wagging his tail. He doesn't even register aggression from other dogs, and I have never heard him growl.

Paula Kissinger 7 years, 3 months ago

Most of you posting here have the right idea and some sense...that would be except for ksrush who seems to believe he/she/whatever is the authority on the subject. Try reading the alternate, but same, story. You will find it titled : Lawrence group hoping to help rescued pit bulls find new homes. Lovely banter there...

mrbig 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry but where do you train dogs exactly? A company locally?

Sdw 7 years, 3 months ago

A dog trainer suggesting that certain dogs aren't even worthy of individual evaluation? Preposterous, or shameful at best.

mrbig 7 years, 3 months ago

Interesting that KSRUSH talks so much about what a reputable trainer he is but will not identify specifically where....hmmm...

mrbig 7 years, 3 months ago

Yet another dodge from a specific question.

Sdw 7 years, 3 months ago

I love how people can say in one sentence that "dogs are like people" implying to me that they are individuals and in another suggest that these dogs are not worthy of adoption, or even individual evaluation. These animals are victims of cruelty, they deserve the chance to be evaluated and placed in a loving home. People are also failing to distinguish between aggression towards other animals and aggression towards humans. It's rare for a fighting dog to show aggression to humans, afterall a major emphasis of the breeding has been so the dogs could be handled even in the midst of a vicious dogfight.

Don't assume that because a dog has been horrifically abused, that it isn't capapble of being rehabilitated. In many cases, they don't really even need to be rehabilitated, they just need a chance to be a loved family member.

slowplay 7 years, 3 months ago

As long as you post anonymously you have no credibility. I'll trust the advice and opinion of Barnett and Grinstead over an unknown blogger anytime.

Sdw 7 years, 3 months ago

Why don't you go ahead and say where you're affiliated if you're actually a professionial trainer? Honestly, none of your comments point to you being a reputable trainer, it sounds more like you're angry because no one will listen to your so-called expertise.

Who would listen though, to someone who has made statements here ranging from, the problem here being who is doing the evaluation of these dogs to none of these dogs even being worthy of evaluation. I don't claim to be an expert trainer, but I'm grateful that these dogs are evaluated by someone like Anthony, rather than having their fates determined by clowns like you.

Jenni Allen 7 years, 3 months ago

amen to you kurush- i couldn't agree with you more- to bad some ppl. can't see past their own preconcieved ideas

BrianR 7 years, 3 months ago

You mean like ksrush's preconceived ideas about dogs he's never met?

judgery8 7 years, 3 months ago

From what I read, the dogs were temperament tested through Game Dog Guardian, a local group that specializes in pit bull training and evaluation of dogs from cruelty cases, not the humane society. The news story tonight reiterated that they, along with most rescue groups, do not tolerate human aggression or adopt out dogs they deem unsuitable to have as pets. The news person said those dogs are either placed in a sanctuary shelter or euthanized. I imagine the streets of Lawrence will still be safe once these dogs are taught general obedience and house manners - just like any other rescued dog. I also imagine any dog with dog aggression will be placed in a home with a responsible and experienced owner.

Several canine victims of cruelty are therapy dogs - including a therapy dog at Game Dog Guardian called Leonidas.

It looks like they know what they're doing.

Matt Schwartz 7 years, 3 months ago

ksrush,,,,dog god. oh bow wow to the dog god.

Kontum1972 7 years, 3 months ago

would the US Military have any use for some of these dogs?

Cade Butler 7 years, 3 months ago


What is your company? You clearly are an expert and this is free advertising. I find it a bit unbelievable that a professional dog trainer won't even provide his name/company so people can seek his expertise.

The dogs weren't evaluated by the Humane Society. They were evaluated by Anthony and his staff at Game Dog Guardian. They have evaluated and cared for two of my rescued pit mixes, and I have seen the rehab success they have had with countless other pits. I have never met anyone with as much pit bull experience as Anthony.

You can keep professing you antiquated beliefs on canine rehabilitation, but the case studies are out there and they disprove your views. Someone in the industry should be well aware of this.

Liberty275 7 years, 3 months ago

I suspect the resident expert in this thread would have been stumped by our chow (because the chow was dumber than a bag of hammers) and would have advised us to have him put down. I would have ignored him and canceled the check.

I remember the first time I took my boy home as a puppy. I set him on the floor, not much larger than two hands, then the little bugger nipped me when I tried to pick him up again. I've never had a better dog.

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