Ingham County Animal Control to transfer 4 seized fighting dogs to Detroit-based rescue
Four fighting dogs seized from suspected dog fighters in the Lansing area by Ingham County Animal Control, or ICAC, will be transferred to Bark Nation, a rescue organization that specializes in fighting dogs.
Though the transfer date is still pending, the Detroit non-profit performed behavioral assessments on the dogs and determined them good candidates for rehabilitation.
“We needed to work with a rescue that had the reputation and the expertise that they could handle and properly rehabilitate these dogs and find appropriate homes and rescues for them," ICAC Customer Service and Community Outreach Manager Kate Turner said. "There was a lot of dogs and that’s not something that we would be able to do to that magnitude with everything else that we have going on, but they are able to do that and do so responsibly. They are a credible rescue that we felt comfortable working with.”
The dogs were retrieved from a couple of different houses in the Lansing area between April and July. ICAC, with the help of the sheriff's office and task force, were able to execute a search warrant to pickup the dogs and take them to the shelter.
“One of our animal control officers was doing an investigation on dog fighting and that led her to a couple of different households that we believed had fighting rings," Turner said.
Another fighting dog that was surrendered to the animal control center was euthanized on Oct. 4 after biting a staff member. Turner said that Bark Nation performs their own tests that determine if the animals can be accepted into their rescue and typically look for signs of aggression.
“As far as the level of what they’re looking for, what they deem acceptable, or their triggers that they aren’t able to work with, that’s completely up to that rescue," Turner said. “We make sure that the animals are up to date on vaccinations, have had appropriate medical care, and of course we’re feeding them, taking care of them, all of that stuff in the meantime.”
Ingham County Animal Control is accepting donations and offer an anonymous tip service to encourage people to report any suspicious neighborhood activities or behaviors that they believe may lead to dog fighting.
"The Bark Nation behavior team has the training and expertise to evaluate fighting dogs and determine which are good candidates for rehabilitation," ICAC Director John Dinon said in the press release. "They have a strong network of rescues who are experienced with rehabilitating fighting dogs."