Genesee Co, MI: Killing is Not Rescue

On Tuesday, the Genesee Co Sheriff’s Department and Genesee Co ACOs seized 28 Pitbulls from two homes in Flint, MI. Both homes were apparently owned by the same person and authorities allege the properties were being used to breed and train dogs for fighting:

[Genesee County Animal Control Director Walt] Rodabaugh said the dogs were transported back to the animal shelter where they will be inspected by a veterinarian.

Photo from the website mlive.com which appeared with this caption: “A tranquilized pitbull is taken to an Genesee County Animal Control van while being seized from a house on Seneca Street in Flint on Tuesday. The Sheriff’s Department and Genesee County Animal Control officers took 29 pitbulls from two houses suspected of dog fighting.”

See more photos here.

On Thursday, it was reported that every single one of the 28 seized dogs had been killed due to “viciousness”.  Was this the result of the inspections by the vet or did someone else deem these 28 dogs dangers to society with no hope of rehabilitation?  Whatever the case, one day is not enough time to properly evaluate the dogs.  One day is not enough time for the dogs to recover from the traumatic experience of the seizure, never mind whatever they might have endured previously.  One day is not enough time to exhaust all reasonable options for rehabilitation/training.  The only thing one day is enough time for is killing.

Killing is not rescue.  These dogs were better off with the alleged dogfighter.  At least then there was a hope that they could be rescued by someone willing to help them transition to normal lives as pets or failing that, get them to sanctuary.  Now there is no hope.

Photo from the website mlive.com which appeared with this caption: “The arm of Genesee County Animal Control Director Walt Rodabaugh shows bite marks on his left arm as he removes a pitbull from a home on Seneca Street Flint’s north end. Some of the animals had to be tranquilized so the could safely be removed.”

See more photos here.

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45 Comments

  1. alice in LALA land

     /  May 3, 2012

    now come on.. if a “pit bull” bit his arm it would be torn off.. after all they have “jaws of steel’ and “feel no pain” you can see that by these photos.. oh and pigs fly.. what a tragedy

    Reply
    • Right and: How’d he get the LOCKING JAWS off?!

      Reply
      • Allie

         /  February 15, 2013

        ok no pit bulls do feel pain and lock jaw is a myth they will let go they just happen to be stronger than us so please get your facts right before you write something

  2. lori

     /  May 3, 2012

    Let’s assume for a minute that these dogs were completely vicious and we know they were not, but lets just say they were…and you or myself had to go and get them…and we had to tranqualize them in order to get them into our truck to transport them…after we had them tranqualized, would we drag them like that first pic back to the truck? I am so mad, I can feel bile coming up into my throat. God little dogs, I am sooooo sorry these monsters posing as rescuers did this to you. I HATE THEM SO BAD. OMG.

    Reply
  3. mikken

     /  May 3, 2012

    “Bite marks”? I’ve had cat bites worse than that! Someone either has very good bite inhibition (and I’ll bet you money those guys went barreling in there like cowboys on crack, freaking the dogs out) or that’s a scratch.

    And no, it is not be medically or ethically acceptable to drag a tranquilized dog by the neck.

    Who evaluated those dogs? What are their credentials for doing so? Clearly the dogs were slated for death the moment they heard “fighting dogs”. Were there any puppies taken? If so, were *they* vicious, too?

    Someone needs a lesson in reality – these dogs are victims, not criminals. Of course, now they’re dead, so problem solved, right?

    How do they know that none of those dogs were stolen property, btw? Oh right, doesn’t matter because they “evaluated” them…

    Reply
  4. Erin

     /  May 3, 2012

    It’s so obvious these dogs were not cared for before or even when they were “rescued”. It’s heartbreaking when you see such apathy for animal lives caught in human affairs, but this is far from the only situation handled so poorly. At the very least, this careless rescue is another in the media being publicly examined becoming widely recognized as a wrong way of handling such situations. Until then, these are just more dogs in need of simple love caught in the cross-hairs.

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  May 4, 2012

      Erin, those dogs look healthy as all get out. None of them are starved, and none of the dogs have any scars on them. Yes, the equipment is obviously for bad training purposes, but I also think that AC Director Rodabaugh is great admirer of Tom Skelton, the pitbull hating-freak, and that he is a ‘man’ who shows how tough he is by killing animals.

      Reply
  5. FixCharlotte

     /  May 3, 2012

    Another idiot that needs to be trained in the proper use of a catchpole….Poor dogs, “viocious” or not, they have feelings.

    Reply
    • “vicious” perhaps but unconscious, for sure. No excuse for dragging ANY DOG but one that you’ve already tranq’d – that’s either sadistic or just too stupid.

      Reply
      • kaylor

         /  May 8, 2012

        You didn’t expect the officer to get dirty by picking up the dog and carrying it…did you?

  6. LAM

     /  May 3, 2012

    Are we sure this wasn’t really Memphis??

    Reply
  7. Such big brave officers of the law, aren’t they by these pixtures… None of these Pitbull looks vicious to me, scared, yes, but vicious no. Only vicious ones are the animal controls and the scared vet that killed them without giving these fine animals a fair chance… Why were they killed, was the wrong owner not famous like Michael Vick to have his dogs saved and rehabbed?

    Well Biscuit I live next door to some people formerly of MI and am familiar with the low mentality… BTW, they take improper care of their animals here, too, calling anyone is a joke. But I will tell you that their dogs are lucky to eat properly or at all, never given attention & occasionally allowed to run at large, but their animals are not socialized at all & try to pick fights with my dogs and my property is fully fenced…

    Reply
    • I have no doubt there are slob dog owners in every state of the country, just as there are rotten parents and dangerous drivers. But I believe MOST people try to do right by their pets, even if it’s different from how you or I might care for our pets. And that too goes for every state in the country.

      Reply
      • Clarice

         /  May 3, 2012

        Three weeks ago there was another dog fighting ring busted in Genesee County, run by a 14 year old boy. After much public outrage, this thug has been charged. The dogs were removed in what semed to be a more humane manner, but they had been tortured along with the lab used as a bait dog. The details of what was done to the dogs is very upsetting, so I won’t post a link.

      • I had read about that case Clarice but not the details. I wondered if the 14 year old was truly the leader or if the other guys just convinced him to be the fall guy by saying he’d get a lighter sentence due to his age. I have a hard time picturing adult men involved in dogfighting answering to a 14 year old.

      • Clarice

         /  May 3, 2012

        It sounds like the penalty is harsher for a juvenile?

        “The Genesee County prosecutor’s office on Monday announced that the boy was charged with torturing animals and dog fighting. Both charges are four-year felonies, carrying fines that range from $5,000 to $50,000.

        Prosecutor David Leyton said in a statement that he wished that Michigan law provided harsher penalties under the circumstances involved. He said the teen is being tried in Genesee County’s juvenile court because it offers the maximum possible penalty.”

      • kaylor

         /  May 8, 2012

        I saw that boy on the morning news. He said he was trying to help those dogs, that he had found them. There were 5 dogs. Three were killed, too many injuries yada yada. But the 14 year old…did NOT appear to be a gangmember type or any kind of no-good type. He seemed like a nice kid trying to do a nice thing. I believed him. Maybe I’m gullible or maybe the legals have blown this all out as a case they know they can get a conviction on (anything involving cruelty to animals). I just don’t quite buy the ‘authorities’ story on this one.

      • Clarice

         /  May 8, 2012

        The 14-year-old was currently on a 180-day minimum suspension from school and had been kicked out of school at least 10 times in the past.

  8. db

     /  May 3, 2012

    Considering the area – it is one of the highest crime, most impoverished cities in Michigan (I live in Michigan) – I’m not at all surprised that this happened. Hopefully there will be enough backlash that it won’t ever happen again.
    RIP Pups – you didn’t deserve to be treated so badly.
    What a pathetic excuse for an animal control officer.

    Reply
  9. A tranquilized dog should NOT be dragged by a pole! A tranquilzed lion, bear, ape, chimpanzee will be on a gurney because of its weight or CARRIED. All of these other animals are also dangerous if NOT tranquilized yet are afforded more respect than this dog. Once it is tranquilized and tucked under like that, clearly the fear of attack is non existant.

    Reply
  10. Wendy

     /  May 3, 2012

    In the first picture the officer is leaning forward and facing away from the dog. It’s obvious he isn’t worried about letting the dog get to it’s feet, and if it’s tranquilized why in the heck is he dragging it. Even if the dog was mean, that is abuse.

    Reply
  11. Cherie Tripp

     /  May 3, 2012

    This is disgusting, it is not possible to prove weather these dogs could have been fit for new homes in one day. How can these dogs be deemed bad enough to be killed when they saved a majority of the dogs that suffered at the hands of Michael Vick and they are doing amazing! How could you say that you are savior for those who can’t save themselves and then you commit this horrible offense against those who look to you to save them! Whoever decided and went along with killing these dogs will be standing in line into hell behind the people who set these defenseless creatures up for distruction looking for safety.

    Reply
  12. animalnewsinfo

     /  May 3, 2012

    From these photos the AC’s look about as compassionate as the people that fight the dogs. Poor dogs failed by humans.

    Reply
  13. Karen F

     /  May 3, 2012

    I feel sick. Even more shocking than what these awful people do is the speed with which they do it. Nobody has time to intervene.

    And it’s clear that, for all the chest-beating by HSUS about how they work against dogfighting, they were not there to save these victims.

    I wonder too why there apparently hasn’t been a peep out of the Humane Society of Genesee County about this travesty. According to the story published on mlive today (Thursday), there are “issues related to the county’s Animal Control Department, including its shelter on Pasadena Avenue, where the dogs were taken.” I’m guessing Genesee County Humane knows all about those issues, and from what Clarice says above about the other recent case, there likely would have been public support for saving these dogs. But at least according to what was published today, Genesee County Humane didn’t speak up for them to make sure they weren’t killed.

    Reply
  14. Clarice

     /  May 3, 2012

    Genesee County Animal Control chief defends mass euthanization of fighting dogs:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/05/genesee_county_animal_control_1.html

    Reply
  15. Mysti

     /  May 3, 2012

    Whoever made the comment in the article that these dogs were better off with a dog fighter is sick and insane. You need serious help. Have you seen dogs dying in person? I bet not, not from behind your computer anyway. I have, you need a reality dose. Dead IS better than living with a dog fighter. I am so sorry I read this nonsense.

    Reply
    • Yeah, I’m “sick and insane” because I hold the radical view that life trumps death, life=hope and that dogs want to live.

      Reply
      • lori

         /  May 4, 2012

        That means I am sick and insane too. I believe that as long as there is breath there is hope. The only real hope any of these dogs have is for us to stand up and say this is wrong and we will not sit back and be silent while they are killing and pretending to be good guys.

      • Allie

         /  February 15, 2013

        Ok if you think that FIGHTING is where these dogs need to be then you are sick. Have you ever even seen the abuse they go through when they fight a dog? I have it is sick and wrong the officer does look like he is hurting the dog yes but the people that fight these dogs have no feeling for the dog other than money and power. When a pit bull loses a fight they are almost always killed and by killed I mean shot beaten and sometimes burned starved and left to die from infection from wounds. the officer is using the catch poll as a guard because this breed can hurt him and the second the dog is scared and bites the officer he will more than likely be put to sleep. And if the dog is going to be put to sleep as bad as it hurts me I agree that that is a better way to die from a shot in there arm than set on fire alive. Pit bulls are loving dog and very sweet to humans but can bit like any animal. You are very wrong in saying that the dog is better off with the fighter than the officer. Because most likely the photograph was taken as the dog was throwing a hit trying to get loose. Please know what you say before you write something like that. I have been studying and training pit bulls for over 20 years and ending fighting is my main course of action. I do know what I am saying because I have seen it and been undercover in dog fighting rings.

    • Rob

       /  May 6, 2012

      Yes, it is saying a lot that dogs are better off with a dog fighter than in the protective custody of your local government. How sick is that?

      Reply
  16. Joel

     /  May 4, 2012

    Am I missing something in the articles or comments by the ACOs? Where did they use the term “rescue”? All I see is “seized”

    Reply
    • Rescue was my word, it is not a quote from an ACO. I used the word rescue b/c that is what most people believe is going on when they read news of an alleged dogfighting operation being shut down by police and the dogs taken away. Most people think it’s a good thing the dogs were taken away from someone who was allegedly abusing them.

      Reply
      • Joel

         /  May 4, 2012

        I see, thanks for the clarification.

  17. Julie

     /  May 4, 2012

    To take an animal out of a bad situation just to kill it is insane. Please don”t ever come and rescue me!

    Reply
  18. Video of some of the dogs being dragged away as well as some footage from another recent bust in the area.

    http://www.abc12.com/story/18017630/30-dogs-seized-from-flint

    Reply
  19. look at the body language in that shot. the agent is not even looking at the dog, just dragging it like a sack of trash.

    Reply
  20. Looks to me like someone has dirt on their arm, when I zoom in there is no red visible just brown. But then maybe this person scabs really quickly or my iPhone’s screen doesn’t like red, or the media wanted to make their article more interesting.

    Reply
    • Joel

       /  May 4, 2012

      If it’s anything it’s a scratch, not a bite. Not that local media would ever sensationalize anything. Of course, our local weatherman would have you believe that every other thunderstorm is going to lift us up and drop us off in Oz.

      Reply
    • db

       /  May 4, 2012

      I mentioned that in the MLive comment section (along with a couple of other thoughts . . .)

      Reply
  21. funisbest

     /  May 7, 2012

    Some people deserve to be bit.

    Reply
  22. kaylor

     /  May 8, 2012

    Flint has lost a lot of the human population. I’ve heard whole blocks have been closed down with vacant/abandoned homes demolished as the city can afford to do it. I suspect that has contributed to the dog overpopulation. They have had packs of dogs running about for years. “Pitbull type” dogs. An ongoing problem with them. I suspect aco’s have gotten pretty grim about the whole situation and have no patience with these dogs. Doesn’t make it right, by a long shot. But maybe helps expain why, a little bit. Breaks my heart, but what can be done?

    Reply
  23. Jessica C

     /  June 6, 2012

    So sad. I rememeber when I used to watch ‘Animal Cops’ that they had got a tiger out of someone’s backyard once and after they tranquilized it, they were perfectly fine with picking it up. If you can do that with a freakin tiger, then surely you can with a dog- even a pitbull!

    Also, on same show, in the Detroit episodes, it seemed like any time they had a pitbull situation, the answer was always ‘euthanasia’, regardless of whether the dog really fought or whatever, because they assumed that they did since its pretty big in Michigan. So this story doesn’t really surprise me much.

    Reply
  24. luke

     /  December 7, 2014

    to kill a pit bull is not the right thing to do.

    Reply
  25. how did Rodabaugh become director?

    Reply

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