First the good news: A severely injured pit bull found in a ravine near Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has made a dramatic recovery and is expected to survive. The disturbing news is that the dog’s injuries, according to the vet who treated him, are consistent with wounds sustained through dogfighting.
Philly.com reports that the pup, who officers have named Radar, was discovered a week ago by a police officer on patrol. The dog’s injuries were so serious that observers on the scene assumed he had been struck by a car. Animal-control officers held out little hope that the dog would live out the night. But by Thursday, Radar was cavorting with dog toys, Frisbees, and people.
Radar owes his life to Animal Protective Officer Craig Baxter, who transported the gravely injured dog to West Chester Veterinary Medical Center. However, now that the mission of rescuing one brutalized dog has been accomplished, the Chester County SPCA faces a larger obstacle—that of locating and shutting down the dogfighting ring in its midst.
During an examination of Radar when he was first brought in, veterinarian Scott Humphries determined that the dog’s injuries—multiple puncture wounds, a muzzle swollen to twice its size, and visible ribs and spine—were telltale signs that he had been in a dogfight. Evidently, Radar had lost, prompting his heartless owner to toss him into a wooded roadside area like so much garbage.
Rich Britton, a spokesman for the SPCA is quoted as putting the public on notice “that ‘Dog Fighting Is on Our Radar,’ and we are actively seeking information regarding dogfighting in Chester County.” He went on to enumerate signs that concerned citizens might home in on, including
- an outsize number of pit bulls in one location,
- dogs that are chained and seem unsocialized,
- and dogs with scars on their faces, front legs, hind end, and thighs.
“This dog and this breed are unfairly painted as monsters,” Britton is quoted as saying. “It’s the people who abuse these animals who are the real monsters.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 610-692-6113, ext. 213. Tips will be kept confidential. Readers who cannot afford the call are encourage to email yours truly, and I will place the call on your behalf.
Each count of felony animal cruelty carries with it a $15,000 fine, up to seven years in prison, or both.
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