Freddie, Cleveland, OH

Hi! I’m Freddie and my life started rough.

I was one of 27 dogs seized by the Cleveland Police Department when officers and animal humane investigators raided a house on the city’s east side. Inside the house in the basement, the officers found a blood-splattered area that obviously had been used as a dog-fighting pit, a treadmill with wooden sides (so the dogs could not jump off or escape) for forced exercise, heavy chains and other paraphernalia.

Charges were filed against the person who owned the house, including 28 counts of felony dog-fighting . (He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial).

Along with the other 26 dogs, I was used as a bait dog. People see my scars, find out that I came from a dog-fighting operation, and immediately think I’m a vicious dog. They could not be more wrong about me or the other dogs.

Although most of the us had never seen grass, had never been allowed to run around freely and only had come into contact with people who were going to hurt us and dogs that were trying to kill us, we are incredibly well-adjusted and getting better every day.

Volunteers began visiting us and handling us in the City of Cleveland Kennel on the first day we were brought in. They coaxed us out of our cages (sometimes spending a half an hour to get one of us to walk ten feet), walked us, talked to us and helped us get over our fears of well…just about everything: doors, grass, cars, people, other dogs, cages, loud noises…

During that process, there is this woman who spent her Christmas vacation walking us. She fell in love with Cage 137 — me! :-)

Because she was willing to foster me, a local excellent rescue — Berea Animal Rescue Fund — stepped forward and offered to pull me from the Cleveland kennel and pay for the cost of neutering and vetting. So she became my foster mama!

In just a short time living with my foster mama, I’ve become a fun-loving dog who loves to play with the other dogs, loves to snuggle with the humans in the house and loves to meet new humans. I think going for a walk outside is the best thing ever! And I love toys and bones and dinner time!

Every morning, after I eat my breakfast, I’d run to my foster mama and kiss her all over her face. She knows I’m just saying thank you because I’m safe. What I don’t know is that every day, my foster mama is thankful for me. :-)

Thanks for giving me the chance to share my story. All of my dog “family” from the fight ring are pulled from Cleveland Kennel by rescues but some of us are still waiting for fosters or forever families. If you could help us share our story so we can also find our forever happy homes, that would be wonderful!

We are amazing dogs and we all deserve amazing homes and the opportunity to be as happy.

Despite my scars and the horrible start to my story, my foster mama says I’m a wonderful dog. People might think because of my history, I’m a monster. But I’m just a dog, looking for the perfect forever home.

Kisses,
Freddie

p.s. If you would like to give me my forever home, contact my adoption consultant Marsha at 440-759-9269 or jmtglass@yahoo.com.

Anyone who lives in the Northeast Ohio area who might be interested in adopting or fostering the other dogs can contact Julie at juliemaykono@gmail.com who coordinates rescues and potential fosters.

Update: Two of the dogs passed away. One died a week ago following a spay — she had some other health issues that contributed to her death.

The other dog, horrifically, was euthanized by accident a week earlier when a volunteer returned him to the wrong cage. Nobody knows for sure what happened since all of the dogs that remained in the Cleveland Kennel had special collars and tags identifying them as part of the original 27. Everyone is sick and furious about it.

Unfortunately, all but one of the dogs recently has been diagnosed with babesia gibsoni, which is spread by blood to blood transfer. It sometimes is found in pits used for fighting (or in this case, bait dogs), can be spread from mothers to puppies, and is found in greyhounds because it can be spread through ticks. Freddie is positive, so he must be treated before he can be adopted.

A fund called “Hope for the 27,” which was set up by Friends of the Cleveland Kennel, is being used to provide testing and treatment for the dogs — it’s approximately $600/dog to test and treat — and vetting for some of the dogs, particularly the ones that were pulled by very small rescues that weren’t anticipating the babesia gibsoni.

Anyone interested in donating can visit Friends of the Cleveland Kennel to learn more about the fund and the dogs. Thank you!

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