Groups help save illegal dogs

Miami-Dade Animal Services Department, animal rescue groups help save pit bulls

By Jacey Birch - Anchor/Animal Advocate

MEDLEY, Fla. - The Miami-Dade Animal Services Department, animal rescue groups, and social media are working together to save illegal dogs from death row.

Covered in bite marks and scabs with open and raw wounds, this is the damaged and hurt face of a pit bull mix suffering from obvious abuse.

"We don't know how those injuries were sustained, whether it was as a bait dog or in dog fighting, or if it was simply an encounter with another dog in the street -- we don't know," said Kathleen Labrada with Miami-Dade Animal Services.

A Good Samaritan rescued the dog, nicknamed "The Rock" for his tenacity, Wednesday night. He was found injured, abandoned and chained to a fence in northwest Miami-Dade.

Dahlia Canes, from the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation, was immediately called in to help find the one year old boy a new home. 

"Whether the pit bulls are banned here or not, it's an issue, but it's not an issue when it comes to saving dogs lives," said Canes. "They work with us. They try to get the dogs out. Obviously, they can't stay in Miami-Dade County so we have rescues we work outside of Miami-Dade County with."

Working with Miami-Dade Animal Services has helped to save the illegal dogs just by finding them homes anywhere but Miami-Dade.

"We certainly don't euthanize strictly based on breed. We have a network of partners and agencies and animal rescue organizations located outside the county," said Labrada.

It is illegal to own any animal that is 70 percent or more of the pit bull breed due to a law put in place back in the 1908s.  Last week, there was a proposal to ban pit bulls in Broward County, but the vice-mayor removed the proposal after an outpouring of pit bull supporters showed up to speak out against the ban.

So, the Rock must first find a foster parent who lives outside Miami-Dade County and that is exactly what Canes is hard at work doing.

"It just takes one person to save this dog," added Canes.

But with an innocent face and sweet disposition, the special pit bull's story spread like wildfire on Facebook and plenty of people are already posting their support as there are over $1,000 in pledges, along with three veterinarians volunteering their services. 

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