Free The Dogs Rally

Clutching signs that read “Free Them All,” “We Will Fight For Their Life” and “Stop Wasting Taxpayers Money,” a group of Monroe, Michigan animal lovers spent the majority of Thursday drumming up support for three condemned Pit Bulls.

The rally was intended to persuade the community that those who love animals should be outraged at the circumstances involving the Pit Bulls that were seized by police from a house during an alleged dog-fighting operation in March.

Many protestors criticized a video that shows the evaluation methods used by Dr. Katherine Houpt, who testified in court earlier this month that three of the dogs should be put down because they are dangerous and offer no use to the public. One part of the video shows a fake hand attached to a stick being used during the testing of the one of dogs named Dusty.

William Bellottie of Detroit, Michigan and a member of the Detroit Bully Crew, a Pit Bull rescue operation, acknowledged some Pit Bulls used in fighting can’t be saved, but the Monroe four weren’t used in fights.

“Can every dog be rehabilitated? Absolutely not,” Bellottie said. “But I believe these dogs should be given a second chance. And it’s not just these three dogs. It’s an epidemic. It’s not just Monroe.”

Trina Stillwagon, a Monroe County resident and a member of the Monroe Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said she was pleased with the turnout and support given to the dogs.

She said she was dumbfounded that the county continues to fight over the issue and spend money in the process. So far it has cost more than $7,000 to house the four dogs at animal control and Ms. Stillwagon said they would take the dogs right now if it were allowed.

She says another rally is being planned before the August 9 Monroe County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“I’m happy anytime we can bring attention to animal welfare,” Stillwagon said. “All they have to do is release them to us and it won’t cost the taxpayers a penny. I’ll drive over there right now.”?

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files