Fighting dogs get second chance at life

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

Four dogs confiscated from suspected dog fighters in Delta County will get a second chance at life.

Eight-month-old Cholo, a pit bull mix, gets frisky with handlers at the Delta County Animal Shelter.

While he's just eager to play now, back in June it was a different story. Gilberta Mathews, the Delta County Animal Control Officer says, "They were in an aggressive demeanor at that point."

Mathews confiscated Cholo and three other dogs as evidence in an ongoing dog fighting investigation. Recently all owners surrendered the dogs voluntarily to the county. Now officials have decided all dogs can be rehabilitated. Mathews says, "I didn't see any aggressive tendencies once they were in here."

At first, Ryla Parlisick, a vet tech at the shelter, didn't know what to think about having fighting dogs in her kennels. Parlisick says, "I was a little apprehensive." But after a little time and some coaxing, things changed.

Parlisick says, "They all realize I have cookies in my pockets so now we are pretty good friends."

And like all dogs that are taught to fight it's not about the breed but how they are trained. Mathews says, "They just want to be dogs, they just want to play, they just want to please."

A dog like Cholo will need an experienced owner, not a first timer. Parlisick says, "Somebody that's going to be with them a lot and teach them and be patient with them."

Mathews says they are happy that all the dogs can be saved and reminds new pet owners that teaching takes time. "Patient, you just have to be patient."

All dogs have been spayed and neutered and will now go to a professional trainer who will adopt them out when they are ready.

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