Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Homes tough to find for dogs seized in raids


ST. LOUIS – As teams begin evaluating hundreds of pit bulls seized in the largest U.S. raid on dogfighters, the Humane Society of Missourihas issued an urgent call to rescue groups to help find homes for the dogs deemed eligible for adoption.

On Friday, teams of animal behavior experts from across the nation are set to begin assessing more than 400 dogs seized from alleged dogfighting operations in Missouri and Illinois earlier this month. About 100 more pit bulls taken from operations in Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Nebraska also will have to be evaluated.

So far, the humane society has heard from just over a dozen rescue groups willing to find homes for one or two dogs, but said more are needed. Animal groups say they haven't had a crisis response of this magnitude since thousands of pets were dislocated in Hurricane Katrina.

"We're going to need a whole lot of new friends to help the animals in this case," said Debbie Hill, the Humane Society of Missouri's vice president. "There are so many more in this unprecedented raid."

The pit bulls' seizure comes as U.S. shelters are inundated with abandoned dogs and cats, 3.7 million of which are euthanized each year because they can't find homes..."  More