“You can do anything you want to do, except no dogfighting, OK? That seems to be the one thing that's off-limits these days.” Jack Donaghy tells this to Tracy Jordan in a Season 2 episode of 30 Rock. Of course, an outrageous storyline ensues (with some very adorable dogs, who are fortunately spared of any dogfighting responsibilities).
Years later, the practice of forcing dogs to fight each other for entertainment is still as taboo as ever. And for that reason, we are celebrating the recent rescue of 275 dogs who were allegedly part of dogfighting rings in South Carolina.
Here’s what we know about this incredible rescue.
Dogs have been rescued from alleged dogfighting rings in South Carolina.
On Sept. 25, 2022, federal officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General served search and seizure warrants to 10 properties in the Columbia area of South Carolina, all of which were suspected of running dogfighting operations.
The officials were assisted by people from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Bark Nation, and a few veterinarians, according to press materials HSUS shared with Green Matters.
At each of the properties, they found neglected dogs, many of whom were living outdoors without sufficient shelter; some of the dogs were underweight, with no access to food or water; and others were suffering from open wounds, scarring, deep cuts, and abscesses. HSUS believes that many of these injuries are very likely to be from dogfighting.
Some of the dogs rescued from South Carolina were classified as being in critical condition.
A 6-month-old puppy, who the rescuers named Albert, was suffering from an untreated elbow fracture. The fracture was healing improperly and infected, which forced vets to amputate his leg. Fortunately, HSUS reports that Albert has adjusted well to life as a three-legged dog, and is getting ready to move into a foster home.
Another dog, who the vets named Ray J, was critically suffering from a festering wound in his chest when he was rescued. He had to have surgery, and is now in the care of the HSUS as he recovers.
In total, the officials and volunteers liberated about 275 dogs from these properties, potentially saving them from a lifetime of abuse.
Are the dogs rescued from South Carolina dog fighting rings available for adoption?
The HSUS notes that the dogs will continue being cared for in various “confidential, safe locations,” as they are not yet ready to be adopted. However, they are all recovering well.
“The dogs are starting to relax and perk up when they see us,” Jessica Johnson, senior director of the HSUS animal rescue team, said in a statement sent to Green Matters. “Many are affectionate and eager for petting. Most are enjoying enrichment time and eating well. Since they were quite thin when we rescued them, having their nutrition needs met is a total gamechanger for them.”
However, most of the dogs are far from being ready to be adopted. “They have been through a lot and need as much rest as possible,” Johnson added. “Right now the priority is to focus on them decompressing and getting into a routine.”
After the dogs are fully recovered, the court process will decide who gets custody of these lovable animals — and without a doubt, they are going to have much better lives than they ever would have had in the world of dogfighting.