Looks like a dog found near death over the weekend will get a second chance at the good life.
Nearly a week after animal activists rescued Lola from an abandoned property in southwest Miami-Dade, the Boxer-American Bulldog mix is now slowly recovering in the hands of a veterinarian in West Palm Beach.
Investigators found the 3-year-old dog, dumped and left to die after she was used as bait to train other dogs to kill during illegal dog fights.
“She has bite wounds and some cosmetic problems. We ran blood work and she’s good, she’s heartworm negative. She does have ear mites, which is a simple thing. But medically in good shape,” said Dr. Joseph Tomes from Summit Boulevard Animal Hospital in Palm Beach. “She seems very sweet, first of all. Her temperament is good. I think she is just plain scared. From this dog's history, apparently it was a bait dog.”
Activist Dahlia Canes with the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation says illegal dog fights are more prevalent in Miami-Dade County than anywhere else in the country, with illegal fighting pens set up in neighborhoods everywhere. She points out these criminals train certain large breeds to fight, but use all breeds as bait, from Yorkies and Malteses to Labradors and Boxers. She says they prey on weakness.
“They’re usually stolen from your backyard, taken away from Miami-Dade Animal Services, found strays on the street. Bait dogs don’t last long," Canes said. "And if they’re no use any more they throw them in the street or kill them."
Amy Restucci, who runs the Abandoned Dogs Rescue in West Palm Beach, picked up Lola from the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter. She says Lola will be cared for at the private vet and get the best care there, on her way to recovering.
“She’ll get love. We’re gonna work with her. She’s walking finally. She’s following us around," she said. "It’s gonna take time and in order to place her in a forever home we have to make sure she gets along with another animals. We have to get to know Lola.”
Anyone interested in adopting Lola can reach out to Restucci directly at www.facebook.com/ABANDONEDDOGSEVERGLADES.