Michelle, the first of the “Pit 6,” is now ready for adoption. Animal lovers everywhere find this great cause for celebration. Monday, Larry Alston, their owner was sentenced to three years imprisonment for animal cruelty related to the six dogs' seizure.
The "Pit 6" is a group of highly abused Anerican Staffordshire Terriers that were held as evidence for two years in a court case involving seven counts of animal cruelty, possession of automatic weapons, and drug paraphernalia. Circumstances all pointed toward a dog fighting ring in Baltimore. The "Pit 6," five females and one male, were found by the police locked in undersized cages.They are believed to have been used as bait dogs.
The life of an abused animal is not pretty, but in the case of the “Pit 6,” it has been extraordinarily difficult. First, a part of an alleged dog fighting ring, then held as “evidence” for two years in animal control, they are now being cared for at Baltimore Humane Society.
Michelle is a petite Staffordshire with a beautiful smile when she greets you at the front of her kennel. The “Pit 6,” five females and one male, were found by the police locked in undersized cages. They are believed to have been used as bait dogs. Bait dogs are typically less tough than others and used as practice targets for dogs training to fight. The “Pit 6” were all emaciated with multiple burn and bite scars. They also showed signs of overbreeding – in other words they were repeatedly raped. In dog fighting rings it is not unusual for bait dogs to endure severe pain. Frequently they are wounded, drowned, electrocuted, slammed to the ground, shot, or left to die a slow and painful death from their open wounds.
It’s always cause for celebration when an abused dog gets a second chance at a good life, but in the case of the Pit 6, it’s a landmark. That’s because animals held as evidence in severe animal abuse and dog fighting cases are typically euthanized once the case is complete.
In the case of the Pit 6, however, animal rescue advocates and Baltimore Humane Society were able to convince the Baltimore County Attorney, State’s Attorney, and Baltimore County Animal Control that these dogs deserved a second chance. They agreed and allowed the dogs to be released in October for the ultimate goal of permanent adoption or foster care.
Michelle demonstrates that even dogs who come from such violent, abusive backgrounds can become loving family pets. Baltimore Humane Society hopes she and the remaining Pit 6 will be used as an example for dog fighting and other animal abuse cases across the nation.
The Baltimore Humane Society, founded in 1927 by Mrs. Elsie Seeger Barton, is an independent, non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, which offers low-cost veterinary care to the public, and a pet cemetery with grief support services. We receive no funding from the local or federal governments, or any national animal welfare organizations. The Baltimore Humane Society is a proud member of BAWA (Baltimore Animal Welfare Alliance) along with the MD SPCA, BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter), and Baltimore City Animal Control.
For more information about BHS, and how you can contribute, volunteer, adopt, or foster, please visit www.bmorehumane.org or call 410-833-8848, or text the word “PAW” to 80000 to donate $10.