Wednesday, December 29, 2010


From Megan Backus, Animal League Defense Fund

Sixteen Temperament-Tested Dogs Saved from Kansas Dogfighting Ring in Need of Loving Homes

Sixteen of twenty-seven dogs rescued from an Independence, Kansas dogfighting operation during an October drug raid are looking for loving families to give them a new chance at life in the new year. The dogs were seized during a Montgomery County, Kansas drug raid overseen by eight Kansas, Missouri, and federal government agencies in which two men were charged with crimes relating to dogfighting. Despite the horrific abuses the dogs endured, the adoptable animals have been temperament tested and are ready to become loving family members. Kansas and Missouri residents and licensed rescues interested in opening their hearts and their homes to one of these dogs can contact Katie Barnett, president of the University of Kansas Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter and adoption director with the rescue group Game Dog Guardian, at

In years past, seizure from a barbaric fighting operation would have meant a death sentence for the dogs who are innocent victims of their abusers. Local authorities, however, were adamant that dogs like “Hercules” and “Big Mama,” rescued in the October bust, deserved a second chance. The much-publicized Michael Vick case has shed light on the fact that despite their abuse, dogs saved from dogfighting operations—which are illegal in all fifty states—can be extremely friendly, gentle, affectionate, good with children, and even highly sociable with other dogs. Katie Barnett, who founded the SALDF chapter at the University of Kansas in 2009 and owns a rescued pit bull herself, assisted Game Dog Guardian trainers in temperament testing the dogs, who are now ready for special families to give them a second chance.

“The criminal justice system plays a vital role in making sure that dogfighters are punished to the fullest extent of the law and prevented from going on to victimize more innocent animals in the future,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “But these dogs don’t just need justice—they also need a second chance. We hope the compassionate citizens of Kansas and Missouri will consider making the lifesaving—and life changing—choice to adopt one of these rescued dogs and give them a new lease on life in 2011.”

Photos and video of the rescued dogs are available upon request. Reporters interested in taking footage of some of the rescued dogs, and residents interested in information about adopting the dogs, should contact Katie Barnett at 785-832-8100 or

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit

Game Dog Guardian believes that a better life for dogs begins with a better life for people, and that a better life for people can be advanced by the human-canine bond.  Game Dog Guardian is a Kansas licensed rescue group with community outreach programs that include free pit bull training classes, humane education outreach, and Delta Society pit bull therapy dogs. For more information, please visit

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