Nearly three-dozen dogs that were seized in this week’s sting of a dog-fighting ring are now being housed in Des Moines. Four locations in Iowa were raided and the U.S. Marshals Service turned over all 35 pit bulls captured to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
Tom Colvin, the shelter’s executive director, says they’re obligated to take the dogs, but it’s a strain on room and resources. "This definitely puts us in a bind," Colvin says. "This takes about half of our kennels that we have available. As you can imagine, if you’re going to house pit bulls, they need to be housed alone, single to a kennel."
The 35 dogs seized in Iowa and were among 350 animals captured in five states during what’s believed to be the largest single crackdown on American dog-fighting rings. Four Iowans were among those arrested.
Since the pit bulls were allegedly used in dog fights, Colvin says they’re having to handle them carefully. "Each dog that comes to the Animal Rescue League with unknown background, from any source, we have to be very cautious that they don’t come in contact with other dogs until we make sure what their temperament is," Colvin says.
"Typically, we’re going to be taking a lot of precautions but on these? Yes, we have extra concern." Since space is such an issue at the animal shelter, Colvin says other abandoned animals will likely have to be displaced by the dogs that are part of the criminal investigation.
If people would like to volunteer at the Animal Rescue League to help take care of the displaced dogs or help with any resources, contact Colvin via the website "www.arl-iowa.org". The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a nonprofit organization, the state’s largest animal shelter, and last year served more than 19,000 animals from all corners of the state.