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Posted Sunday, December 30, 2012, at 9:53 AM

The words of Heart of Gold Pit Bull rescue: I had to let Ivory go this morning (while she was under anesthesia). There was so much necrotic tissue that it was not possible to amputate her leg and be able to close up the wound. Her injuries, rotten flesh and the sepsis - too much to overcome. Someone fought her for 4 years and when she got infected and started to die, they dumped her. She was wagging her tail this morning and ate a hearty breakfast. She had two good days at Berclair. She knew kindness. She was medicated for her pain. She was warm. She was clean. She was loved. At least she died surrounded by people that loved her. Thank you Sue and Chuck for being there with me. Run free Ivory!! Until we meet again... To Ivory Your life was brief. Only four years. And all of them spent experiencing the worst that humanity has to offer. You were forced to deliver litter after litter of puppies, and certainly mourned as they were torn away from you for a fate likely as bad as the one you lived. You were forced to fight for your life, over and over. Until finally, you became so injured and so ill that they tossed you aside....sentencing you to a lonely, freezing street death. And yet you gave humanity one more chance. You did not want to die alone. You crawled into our lives seeking help. In the few days we knew you, we briefly caught a glimpse of the loving pet you could've/should've been had destiny been kinder. With each blink of your patient brown eyes, with each step of your John Wayne swaggering walk, and with each "thump" of your wagging tail as the vet tenderly cleaned your bleeding wounds....we grieved for the life you led. Yet, despite the best efforts at the hands of a caring veterinarian and staff, sometimes the horror of the past cannot be overcome. Your deeply and badly scarred body bore witness to this truth. And so we caressed you as we bid you farewell. Finally... you felt human hands on you that cared. Hands that loved. It was our honor to serve you, Ivory. And it is in your memory that we will champion and serve others like
At the time of this writing I am roller coastering through many emotions. I received the notice that the dog in the accompanying picture had to be put down during surgery that was intended to save her life. I see this carnage, I read the account and then I read through all the posts regarding states and local governing bodies considering breed bans. It makes me ill to know that there is a majority in control of our society that considers it acceptable to hold these dogs responsible for their own torture.

Ivory was found as a stray in the Memphis Tennessee area. I can guess what her life has been without reading the account of the two days, the only two days, she has been loved and cared for by Heart of Gold Pit Bull Rescue. It is not a leap to assume she was a cash cow for some backyard breeder aka scumbag that bred her from her first heat cycle until she could no longer produce the pocket change needed for whatever activity her puppies were funding. When her cash value declined she was thrown into a fighting pit to earn whatever she could but sadly when a female Pit Bull has been bred to the point of having her body depleted of all vigor, she is not much good as a fighting dog either. At that point, she will either die a horrendous death or simply be thrown away like Ivory.

Ivory suffered before being found. She had nasty wounds that were allowed to become so infected she already smelled dead. Chances are her body would have been found and disposed of without a glance backward by some city worker if Hearts of Gold had not intervened. Just another dead Pit Bull and no one cares that the monster responsible for this is still engaged in criminal behavior and still free to torture more dogs. Instead, we see more and more bans and restrictions placed on these dogs. How can anyone, even non-Pit Bull lovers, find this acceptable?

This is not exclusive in our metro areas. It is common place in every little burg in our nation. People are outraged over breed bans but where are they when a call to address it is issued? People are scared because of misinformation and a media promoted image of what these dogs have been promoted as being but where is the force professing to know and understand these dogs when begged to stand up and do something? They are sitting in the safety of their homes waiting for someone else to do something. They are nowhere to be found when the hard work needs to be done.

We have the huge national groups dropping money left and right, that has been funneled away from our local shelters and rescues, for causes that they feel are necessary to promote their own agendas. That is fine for them. It keeps the focus off the real problems in our streets and the thousands of dogs dying due to an image they themselves spent decades promoting. Where is the Humane Society of the United States when it comes time to rally support for laws that protect this breed and hold those responsible for these acts of cruelty accountable in our courts? Oh of course, they are offering a reward for information but while they manipulate legislation in our states, they do nothing to promote laws protecting these victims.

I am very unforgiving of the HSUS for their role in the plight of the Pit Bull. I remember them appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show with a stressed Pit in a carrier two sizes too small telling the nation about what killing machines these dogs are. This attitude did not change up until the time they called for the death of the dogs pulled from Michael Vick's compound of horror and the public sentiment turned. They very quickly changed their tune and now their representative's brag about how they themselves are Pit Bull owners. Well guess what, it takes more than that to change your image in the minds of those of us that have endured your sensationalized promotion of the genocide of this breed.

Missouri is not famous for stepping to the forefront in the legislative arena. This state truly is known for sitting back and waiting to see what is going to be popular in the other states....show me. In reading through the list of pre-filed bills for the 2013 legislative session, I see multiple bills addressing age limits of people in tanning beds. Do we really have to have a law that says it is not alright to let someone six years old lay in a tanning bed? Is this really more important than the torture of animals for profit? Apparently it is because there are no pre-filed bills addressing dog owner responsibility or protecting a dog breed from the bigoted prejudice of ignorance. Where are the lobby groups professing to care about our companion animals? Where are you now HSUS?

When I tried to gain support for legislation demanding generic dog laws from Missouri's lobby groups, I was met with the attitude that it was tried and failed from lack of support. Where are the owners professing to love their dogs so much they would never allow them to be confiscated? You say you would fight for your dogs but when called on for action, you are not to be found.

Well I am personally sick of watching this carnage and if I have to be alone in this fight, then so be it. But I have no intention of watching this needless death and torture without doing something. My soul bleeds every time I have to witness unnecessary death but I get angry when I know those responsible for these crimes are free to walk away. I see the hopelessness in the eyes of these dogs and then hear the outcry for their demise from the public and am ashamed of the human race. What has happened to humanity that they can close their eyes to this suffering?

To Donna of Hearts of Gold and all the rescuers that must face this nightmare every day, my heartfelt apology for what you must being going through, I send you my love and prayers. Part of that prayer is that people will wake up and finally take a stand against this evil. May 2013 be the year that sanity rules and the torturers of these dogs take a step closer to hell!

Go with God dear Ivory.....

Showing comments in chronological order
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I pray each day for the voiceless

-- Posted by jpb2 on Mon, Dec 31, 2012, at 5:23 PM

Thank you for writing this. And thank you Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue and Donna (proud to be her friend) for giving Ivory two days of love that she never received before. RIP Ivory.

-- Posted by Mike Bauch on Mon, Dec 31, 2012, at 9:25 PM

I am so sad to hear this. I have been seeing so much abuse toward animals posted on facebook that have been breaking my heart. I do not understand what is going on in this sick world. I believe that there has got to be something we can do. We need to find a way to punish people for animal abuse we are their voice we have to protect them,they are God's creation as well as we are. They are love that is what they are. I think it is time to start figuring out what to do let's get the Animal Activist involved we cant continue to allow this. Animals are hurt everyday....they die with broken hearts they need us so my question is what are we all gonna do??? Pleas lets band together and help them this is the right thing to do. Please tell me what you think we can do. We can not go on leaving this go and allowing our animals to die and be used for a breeding field. We are humans we have got to find the power and help they count on us for.

-- Posted by sybarra440@aol.com on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 8:45 AM

Thank you all for your support & understanding. This apathy toward the suffering this breed endures is sickening. From those sworn to protect having open season to kill every Pit they see to the criminals being sanctioned to commit this evil by those who consider breed bans the answer, our society seems to be deteriorating at an even more alarming rate. It's time we took a stand and make sure no one doubts we are serious in our mission. Human beings are the ones that must be held accountable & their punishment should be as harsh as the crime itself. Ivory is now safe from those that caused her harm but thousands of Pit Bulls are not. Monsters do exist and they walk freely among us!

-- Posted by Melanie Coy on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 11:12 AM

Thank you, Melonie for being champion to the Pits of this country. I cried when first reading of Ivory at the time she was found. I can't imagine the Ivories out there suffering now and others not found. The exploitation of this breed is beyond comprehension. If one begins looking for a pet, the most available is a pit or pit mix. Secondary to the public and legislative bias to Pits is the fact they are so hearty and have high puppy count litters, exponentially affecting the problem. People should direct contributions to rescue groups rather than HSUS. Before succumbing to those horrific, long, expensive ads for HSUS, look for a rescue group. If you don't have a breed preference or if you do, there are many rescue groups near you -- many tax deductible. Call your local elected officials to learn if animal protection is a priority for them. If not, inspire them. You will learn the strength of your elected leadership just with this one issue -- making people responsible for their acts against helpless animals.

-- Posted by Donna D, Little Rock, AR on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 4:10 PM

You have made a couple of very good points Donna. The first is the reference to "expensive advertising". I always marvel that people have no concept of what it costs to do advertising on the scale of some of these so-called charities. The cost to produce and air one of those ads exceeds the annual operating budget of most shelters. Most local rescues & shelters do have 501 (c) 3 status which makes a donation to them deductable.

Your reference to "making people responsible" is the bottom line in most issues facing our companion animals. RESPONSIBILITY is the one human quality that could make a dramatic difference in our fight to reform laws and attitudes. It is lazy and dangerous to project responsibility onto the animals themselves when it is the human that has shirked their responsibility to the animal and to society!

-- Posted by Melanie Coy on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 7:20 PM

I work at the HSUS as the Missouri State director, and while I've reached out to Melanie, I did want to share more information with those reading this piece as well. First and foremost, I am truly sorry for Hearts of Gold rescue, and their loss of Ivory, and my thoughts are with them. She is fortunate to have spent her last days receiving the care she deserved. It is heartbreaking to see the impact that cruelty has on animals including long term impact, like it did on Ivory. I do want to however, respond to the comments about the work of the HSUS. The fact is, that we work to protect all animals, including dogs, and we've been dedicated to that principle since our founding in 1954. The HSUS spends more than $20 million annually on our programs to fight puppy mills, animal fighting, inhumane factory farming practices, poaching, Canada's commercial seal slaughter and other wildlife abuses, to prevent cruelty before animals are made to suffer. As for BSL, we are working to repeal breed specific ordinances in jurisdictions throughout the country by working with lawmakers to craft breed-neutral ordinances. We are currently working in Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts and South Dakota to repeal breed-specific laws. I myself am working with community leaders across Missouri, most recently in Sikeston. Ending the cruelty of animal fighting, at the state and federal level, is a priority for The HSUS. It takes the efforts of both local and national groups, working together, to accomplish the job. We can each take action, by contacting our legislators, and urging them support legislation that cracks down on Animal Fighting, and also by educating and raising awareness about pit bull type dogs, and why BSL is ineffective. We know they can be wonderful companions, but need to continue to work together to spread the word about these dogs, as well as the other animals, that need our help.

Amanda Good

-- Posted by agood on Thu, Jan 10, 2013, at 3:36 PM

Amanda as one of the responsible owners that has endured the HSUS's movement toward the genocide of Pit Bulls for many, many years you will find, as I stated, I'm not very forgiving of the previous stance of the HSUS. I do have an appreciation of some of your efforts in the movement toward reform of this travesty but not enough to ask you to actively work with me or anyone else whose goals are the safety and well being of this breed.

If the HSUS is in fact ready and willing to address reform in the State of Missouri, I would invite them to take up the cause banning gas chambers as a means of the killing of animals in our shelters. I don't have to tell you how barbaric and inhumane this practice is or how the animals actually suffer when dying in this manner. It is being used as a cheap, impersonal method of murder and should immediately be banned in this state and across our nation.

If what you are saying about reform is true, this is of immediate importance to the residents in Missouri who actually care about the welfare of our companion animals.

-- Posted by Melanie Coy on Sun, Jan 20, 2013, at 12:15 PM

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Melanie Coy
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Melanie Coy has been a pit bull fancier for 29 years. She's also been involved in obedience and other training and showing animals. Coy became involved in animal legislative issues in the mid-80s to dispel myths about the pit bull breed and fight against breed-specific laws. She advocates responsible dog ownership through training and educational programs, and helps shelters make dogs more adoptable.
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