National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month Starts Today

Turtle in the place where she was discovered.

Turtle in the place where she was discovered.

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and we’d like to share with you the story of a dog who exemplifies how much reporting concerns of animal abuse, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect to local authorities truly impacts the lives of animals in our communities.

Learn about the different types of “blood sports” and what you can do to help stop them.

On the night of December 14, 2009, the Animal Rescue League of Boston responded to a call about an injured dog in Hyde Park. Had someone not called, “Turtle” probably would not have made it through the night.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) found an emaciated and gravely wounded female pitbull-type dog – who we named Turtle because she was discovered near Turtle Pond Parkway – lying curled up and motionless in the cold. She was extremely weak and covered with scars and open sores.

ARL’s Field Services team immediately determined that Turtle’s injuries were consistent with her being used as a “bait dog” to train fighting dogs. Bait dogs are commonly discarded after a life of cruel and inhumane treatment, and she had obviously been left for dead.

Turtle at Tufts

Turtle at Tufts

Turtle was transported to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatments & Specialties where veterinarians were able to stabilize her condition. She successfully underwent surgery to close numerous bite wounds and she received treatment for broken teeth, intestinal parasites, fleas and nutritional deficiencies. Once she recovered from her surgery she faced a long and arduous period of physical and behavioral rehabilitation at the ARL.

After months spent in the care of the ARL’s foster program, Turtle became a completely different dog. She was soon after adopted by her attending veterinarian from the evening she was found, Dr. April Paul. from Tufts who helped save her life.

Today, Turtle lives a happy, healthy life, spending much of her time visiting schools and hospitals as a therapy dog and lobbying for animals and encouraging people to give a voice to victims of animal cruelty at the Massachusetts State House.

Turtle after her recovery, bringing joy to children.

Turtle after her recovery, bringing joy to children.

3 Signs a Dog May Be Being Used for Dog Fighting

  1. Dogs kept on short heavy chains or tethered to makeshift dog houses
  2. Several crates, tethering devices, and specialized aerobic training equipment such as treadmills kept in basements and sheds
  3. Dogs with lots of scaring around the face, neck, front legs and chest

Learn more about how you can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty: arlboston.org/take-action

Turtle on the steps of the Massachusetts State House.

Turtle on the steps of the Massachusetts State House.