FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Nearly a dozen dogs rescued from an alleged dog fighting ring in Fort Lauderdale need new homes.
Earlier this week, the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division and Fort Lauderdale police rescued 11 female American Staffordshire Terrier/Lab-mix dogs that were used for baiting and breeding purposes, investigators said. They also arrested 22-year-old Derek McNair.
"These dogs have been over-bred, they've been abused. In some cases, they were fought," said Dahlia Canes. "It kills me, it pains me, to see these dogs in the wrong hands."
The dogs went to South Florida animal groups, which are rehabilitating them.
"It's a stigma of dog fighting that these dogs cannot be property rehabilitated. They can," said Canes.
"Rescue groups are critical in a situation like this," added Lisa Mendheim with Broward County Animal Care.
Animal behaviorist Franco Sicheri worked with Nyla as he checked to see how she'd react to him.
"She's got a problem with her eye. She's definitely blind in that eye," he said. "I've been touching her everywhere and she really hasn't had any issues with that, so that's definitely encouraging."
Trainers and behaviorists must approve the dogs for adoption.
"My mindset is that any dog can be rehabilitated," said trainer Jason Borden. "It's not the dog that makes it the dog the way it is. It's the owner of the dog, the handler."