“Ellie” is the most recent dog I’ve photographed for my Victims of Dog Fighting series. Ellie is a 5-year-old Pit Bull Terrier. She was used at a fighting dog kennel for breeding until she was rescued in July 2009 from a location in Missouri.
She is one of the “Missouri 500,” the name given to the group of dogs rescued during that raid on a ring of fighting kennels throughout the Midwest. Well more than 500 dogs were rescued when all the pregnant dogs had given birth to their puppies while in temporary custody of the Humane Society of Missouri, (HSMO). HSMO was the leading organization in the rescue that supported the historic raid by a multi-agency law enforcement effort.
Ellie was pregnant at the time, when she was around 2 years old. Based on biological cycles, it’s speculated that Ellie was carrying at least her second litter and possibly her third. Though pregnant at the time, she weighed only 30-something pounds. Compared to her present healthy weight of 45 pounds, she obviously was malnourished.
Ellie needed patience and compassion, adopters who would understand that nearly three years after being rescued and placed into a loving home with comforts, toys, healthy opportunities and companionship, she still fears the sound of aluminum foil tearing, crumpling … anything to do with aluminum foil, really.
One of her owners, Todd, says, “Ellie has made such remarkable progress, though. She never lived in a home before being rescued. At first, the sounds of a TV, a light switch being flipped, a dishwasher all sent her running. It’s been a slow process, but she has little breakthroughs, little by little.”
More Victims of Dog Fighting portraits:
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