Canine Cruelty: Part I

The scarred and disfigured dogs have shined a whole new light on the age old "sport."

The most commonly used dog in fighting is the pit bull. As a result the breed is considered ruthless, aggressive and dangerous even outside the arena. Experts say in spite of negative publicity, pit bulls are considered caring canines and can be a loving addition to your family.

Sometimes people bring out the worst in the dogs. When you think of man's best friend, for most the pit bull is not the first breed that comes to mind. Pit bulls have a bad reputation as being aggressive, but if these animals are properly trained they could be great pets. In fact, they crave human attention.

Caleb Banks grew up in a household with pit bulls and has since purchased one of his own, but Banks says not everyone should own the breed.

Caleb says, "He can be aggressive, that's why I got him so he can be a guard dog. If I'm not home, you come knocking on my door, he will bark. He's like a guard dog, they can be aggressive but he ain't."

The dog's aggressive behavior has made some treat it in a cruel manner. Just recently a Gadsden County woman found a 12-week-old pit bull. He was doused with kerosene and set ablaze.

"It hurt so bad to look at this dog. I cant imagine what his life has been like these 12 weeks, he's just a puppy. You can't hold him, you can't love him and he can't have fun like other puppies do. I feel it's not fair."

Doctors say the dog, now named "Arson" sustained second and third degree burns on 50 percent of its body.

Dr. Sondra Brown of Northwood Animal Hospital says, "He's already lost extensive skin on the front of his body and on his face and on his legs. If he loses a large surface area of the skin it will be difficult to manage not only his pain, but to keep him stable.”

Brown believes the dog was purposely doused with kerosene. Whether it was set on fire intentionally remains a mystery.

Veterinarians say they frequently treat pit bulls with multiple scars and deep wounds, a clear indication they were involved in organized dog fights. While some never make it to the office as they fight to the finish, we were informed "Arson" did not make it. He was euthanized because of the extensive damage to his skin and because he was in severe pain.

They often see scars and deep wounds with pit bulls that have been used for fighting, but no so much in other breeds.