Louisville dogs face uncertain future after life in dog fighting ring

What's next for dogs rescued from fighting?

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Three dogs are now facing an uncertain future and a Louisville man is facing multiple counts of cruelty to animals. This after LMPD officers arrested Antonio Hawkins in connection to what is believed to be a dog fighting incident.

At Metro Animal Services' intake facility you'll find strays, pets abandoned by their owners, and other animals picked up by police. The hope is most will be evaluated and then adopted out. But behind the walls of the facility's quarantined section, several heartbreaking stories of dogs that may never see a life beyond those brick walls.

"It’s extremely sad”, Lt. Adam Hamilton with Metro Animal Services said.

Inside the building there are a number of animals in a state no creature should ever be subjected to. Words like "cruelty case" or "aggressive" decorated the cages. This is where the dogs involved in dog fighting are kept.

"Most of the dogs have scaring on them, those scars will be on their face, their neck, chest, legs, and then sometimes you'll see it on the back on them, the rear end”, Hamilton said.

Animal control officials said dog fighting in Louisville is real, but hard to find.

"The big rings, they're here, but they're so underground, at this point we don’t have any idea where they're at”, Hamilton said.

Hawkins was discovered by an LMPD officer, who said he drove by the property and noticed one of the dogs chained up in a way that is commonly used among dog fighters.

He found two other dogs in cages behind home. All were taken to Metro Animal Services--where their future is uncertain.

Hamilton said, "I would say most dogs are put down."

Metro Animal Services officials said they try to rehabilitate the dogs and then adopt them out, but for many it’s not a realistic option as they are trained to be too aggressive.

But before those calls are made, the dogs are held while those accused of abusing them are in court.  It’s a process that is costly for the shelter, and detrimental to the dog.

"We're monitoring right now, all the court cases that we have with the animals here and our prosecutors are working with us to get the case resolved as quickly as possible”, Hamilton said.

They are doing that in hopes the dogs that can be saved and for the others who can't be saved their suffering will be put to an end.
 


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