New law giving dog fighting rescues a second chance

By News Staff

Reporting by Kainani Stevens

kstevens@abc6.com

A new law in Rhode Island is giving rescued dogs found in the worst of straits a second chance at life.

It was a strong stand by lawmakers at the Statehouse on Tuesday as Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill aimed to protect animals abused in dog fighting rings.

"Dogs will now get a second chance at life. Dogs that would have automatically been labeled vicious or un-adoptable, will now be individually assessed to see if those dogs will be good for homes, or therapy, and they’ll be ready for that second chance," said Lee Greenwood of Best Friends Animal Society.

Before this bill passed, any dog affiliated with a dog fighting operation would be put down, including puppies and other vulnerable animals. Now, each dog will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

"Our stats have shown that a lot of dogs coming from these dog fighting operations can be successfully re-homed and have a successful future," said RISPCA Cruelty Investigator, Joe Warzycha.

With over 50 dogs fighting rings prosecuted by the RISPCA every year, that gives hundreds of dogs a second chance at redemption.

Rhode Island now joins 38 other states who have passed similar legislations to give animals rescued from dog fighting rings a chance to shed the "vicious label."

© WLNE-TV 2015