FOX 8 New Orleans
Pictures captured the severely injured one year old bloodied pit bull discovered in New Orleans East last week. Volunteer animal rescuer, Phylisha Soleto was feeding some wild cats on the street when she spotted the dog in the backyard of a home on Boston Street.
"I noticed he also had some lacerations on his head. He also had, his foot, was almost severed almost completley off, " said Phylisha Soleto.
She says its what was missing from his mouth that convinced her the animal was used as a bait dog for dog fighting. "What they do with bait dogs is they remove their teeth and throw them in the middle of the ring and use them to get the other dogs ready for fighting . He can't fight back he doesn't have any teeth," added Soleto.
"It was the worst case I've ever seen," said Veterinarian Jessica Coates who treated the dog. She says inspite of his pain, the dog remained a gentle dog to the end. But she says she had to euthanize him because of the severe infections in his mouth and lips. "So it was just going to slough off and it wouldn't have a mouth. So just the quality of life would be terrible," said Veterinarian Coates.
The resident of the house where the dog was found says he tried to keep the dog off his property. But says it was attracted to his female dog and kept wandering to his back yard. He wouldn't give his name but said, " It was just a stray dog, running around the neighborhood." He adds he had no knowledge of dog fighting on his block.
However, one other neighbor, who didn't want to reveal her identity says there is a problem with dog fighting in New Orleans East. Jeff Dorson, the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, also says New Orleans East was a hot spot for dog fighting before Hurricane Katrina and remains one after the storm.
"The reason its still going on is because there are fewer people out there, less police out there and open spaces. So all that makes for an attractive spot for dog fighters," Dorson said.
Soleto now hopes the gruesome death will prompt someone to come forward with information on the dog fighting rings she believes took the life of this animal. Workers with the SPCA say they canvassed the Eastern New Orleans neighborhood but didn't get any information on what happened to the dog. They stress if you have any information you can anonymously call them and possible earn the 2,000 reward.
The number for the SPCA is 504-368-5191 extension 100. If you see a dog fight in progress or know someone participating in the illegal act call 911 to reach your local police department.